The latest 3Q02 Job Index Survey (JIS) released by TMP Worldwide, a supplier of human capital solutions including career portal Monster, shows that expected permanent hires across the region is set to increase.
Among the seven Asian countries surveyed, namely China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore where opinions of more than 2,000 key decision-makers of major industries were analysed, China (56.1 percent), Japan (49.1 percent) and Korea (42.2 percent) are the top three countries across the region expected to lead the increased permanent headcount next quarter.
On the flipside, Hong Kong’s results remain lower than Singapore with a net effect for expected increase in permanent hire of 19.1 percent – where net effect is the result of subtracting the percentage of employers who indicated that they intend to decrease employment from the percentage of employers who indicated they intend to increase.
When asked what the single most important people issue their business must address in the next 12 months, 38.5 percent of the respondents said employee motivation and retention.
The next most important employee issue identified by respondents was attracting and selecting new talent (15.2 percent) followed by career management for employees (9.8 percent).
The sectors where respondents felt employee motivation and retention was the most important issue are Legal/Professional Services (54.4 percent of respondents) and Telecommunications (50 percent).
The survey also looked into how well organizations managed and communicated change in their workplace. It revealed that 52.9 percent of respondents felt that organizations generally communicated workplace change to employees well.
The majority of respondents in the Consumer sector (39.0 percent) felt they communicated workplace change very well, followed by the Advertising/Marketing sector (26.0 percent).
In contrast, 30 percent of respondents in the Industrial/Logistics/Engineering sector felt that their companies did not communicate workplace change to employees very well at all.
Email was confirmed as the most commonly used method to communicate workplace change – as many as 50.7 percent stated that email was used to communicate workplace change. However, 61.2 percent of Advertising/Marketing respondents preferred communicating change through face-to-face briefings.
“Though email is becoming more prevalent for internal communication, especially for MNCs with offices across a region, it is still best that matters such as workplace change be done face-to-face. The more personal exchange of information usually results in a better understanding and acceptance of the issue, leading to a high level of trust and transparency within a company,” said Gary Lazzarotto, regional director for TMP Worldwide in Southeast Asia. “This, in turn, impacts directly on employee morale and productivity.”
Up to 90.9 percent of respondents surveyed had a corporate website. Looking further into individual sectors, a quarter of the respondents from the healthcare/Medical/Pharmaceutical sector said their organization did not have a Web site while comparatively, virtually all respondents in the Telecommunications and Financial Services/Insurance sectors had a corporate Web site.
Of the respondents who did have a corporate Web site, 62.1 percent had a careers/employment section.
The Information Technology and Telecommunication sectors led the way in using their corporate website for recruitment purposes.
Job and career Web sites have not yet caught up with Asia-based companies.
As many as 58.3 percent of respondents said they did not use job/career sites to advertise their job vacancies, predominantly those from the Legal/Professional Services (72.7 percent) and Advertising/Marketing (69.2 percent) sectors.
Only 14.1 percent of those who said they did not use the Internet to advertise job vacancies now stated that they would do so in the future.
The Singapore Job Market
Singapore reflects a positive, but cautious job market with a net effect for permanent hiring expectations in Singapore of 29.6 percent, an increase of 1.5 percent over last quarter.
The current net effect is the highest recorded for Singapore since 2Q01. Also, for the first time, this quarter’s JIS recorded all positive net effects for all sectors surveyed since Q301.
Said Lazzarotto: “Singapore is showing continued optimism in hiring expectations and this in itself is a good indicator of confidence in the economy. What we will be witnessing is a continued gradual climb upwards in expected permanent hiring. The slight increase in the net effect this time is a reflection of the state of the employment market. A gradual rebound is projected as companies begin to hire strategically to position themselves ahead of their competitors as Singapore begins to recover from the economic slump.
For the rest of the year, many businesses will be looking at quality hires and not quantity. Business leaders know that while the economy is improving, they need to hire the best talent to lead the field when the economy gains momentum towards full recovery.”
Job Sectors In Singapore
The government has been successful in attracting the biggest biotechnological companies to Singapore, said TMP.
Half of these companies in healthcare/medical/pharmaceutical sectors surveyed said that they intend to increase permanent headcount this quarter, up from 37.5 percent last quarter.
This was followed by the Advertising/Marketing and Information Technology sectors, where permanent hires are expected to increase 40.4 percent and 40.2 percent respectively.
However, Telecommunications remains a sector that has not felt the positive impact of the economic upswing. This is seen in the expected headcount reduction of 13.3 percent this quarter, up from 6.5 percent last quarter.
Meantime, the contract/temporary employment levels are growing at a healthy pace. The overall net effect for this quarter is 9.5 percent, an increase of 4.5 percent over last quarter.
The total percentage of firms that intend to hire more contract staff this quarter has risen over last quarter by 3.6 percent, with the number of respondents expecting to decrease similar headcount dropping by 1.0 percent over the same period.
“As the boom and bust cycle shortens due to global economic patterns, companies are making themselves more nimble where human capital is concerned. This means more companies aim to be increasingly flexible as they strive to remain competitive and one of the first areas affected is headcount,” stated Lazzarotto.
Reprinted from asia.internet.com, an internet.com site
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