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Singapore – Business confidence rises but competition for talent grows

24 January 2014

Recruitment firm Ambition Group (AMB: ASX) reported continued recruitment activity across all of their business lines in Singapore during the first half of 2013. The second half of the year saw consistent demand across most industries and functions.

Paul Endacott, Managing Director for Ambition in South East Asia, commented: “The general business confidence in Singapore is positive and many clients anticipate growth in 2014. However, whilst confidence remains high, talent pools remain shallow; particularly when you take into account the continued focus on hiring locally before hiring foreigners, which is underscored with the Fair Consideration Framework due to be implemented in August 2014.”

“The demand for high quality talent has never been more pressing, particularly for those native to Singapore who have overseas experience. This means that a company’s attraction and retention strategies have never been more important, as there will be no lack of opportunities for high calibre talent in Singapore.”

“This demand in Singapore is also seen across South East Asia, as markets like Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand all experience strong growth. The region continues to throw up exciting opportunities [as] companies; international, regional, and local, look to increase their footprint,” Mr Endacott concluded.  

In its six monthly market trends survey, Ambition found that, despite most employees (56.2%) feeling happy in their job, more than half (54.5%) work between 41 and 50 hours each week and 45% feel that they are not being paid the market rate.

The competition for talent in Singapore is such that only 10% are constantly worried about losing their job, compared with nearly 60% who only worry about it sometimes. Just over 40% of workers intend to switch job within the next six months, with 65.2% planning to use a recruitment service to source their next job.

Most employers (73.1%) believe that their staff are happy in their jobs, although 38.8% of respondent admitted that the level of remuneration is the aspect of their job disliked most by their staff. They also found that hiring good staff was the most challenging part of their managerial position, followed by supporting their staff with career planning and development. 

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