Levels of job advertisements in Asia remained largely consistent in the second quarter, with companies choosing to hold off on hiring new staff following a strong second quarter, finds Robert Walters' Asia Job Index for the third quarter of 2011.
The financial turmoil in the Eurozone and in the US has inevitably had an impact on international companies, particularly in the financial services sector in regions such as China and Hong Kong.
Accountancy and finance have been impacted and similarly, recruitment within IT services has declined as companies delay implementing new systems until there is greater economic visibility.
In Singapore, the number of jobs advertised in Singapore in Q3 remained largely in line with the previous quarter, growing by 5% over the quarter and by 7% from Q2 to Q3.
Sectors proving more resilient to the economic uncertainty included medical services and legal services, which have seen numbers of job advertisements rise over the quarter by 19% and 17% respectively.
To meet Singapore's regulatory requirements, pharmaceutical companies continued to invest in clinical assistance, research and development, whilst companies also increased headcount within legal departments to prepare for incoming financial regulations such as Basel 3.
Over in Hong Kong, recruitment advertising activity during Q3 slowed down by 2% from July to September following a particularly strong second quarter.
Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading financial services centres means it has inevitably been affected by ongoing global economic concerns.
Candidate confidence levels are muted with many unwilling to leave current positions to enter an uncertain market.
In Malaysia, companies have reassessed recruitment needs across a range of sectors such as human resources as well as art and design, resulting in both sectors seeing a fall of 35% over the quarter.
A notable trend for HR was for companies to use the services of recruitment firms like Robert Walters to hire as these positions are generally deemed to be confidential.
Demand for general management roles continues, with job advertisements increasing in sectors such as property management, up 8%, as companies look to hire in- house facility professionals to manage properties.
Meanwhile, in China, levels of total job advertisements in China in Q3 dipped minimally by 1%.
This follows the trend evident in Q2, when the rate of growth in advertising began to slow from previous levels.
This slowdown was driven in part by companies suspending hiring in the wake of headcount reviews and budgetary discussions and employees awaiting end of year bonuses.
Recruitment within IT services and merchandising and purchasing is indicative of this cautious tone, revealing respectively 12% and 4% declines in job advertisements, in these traditionally market sensitive industries.
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