Hiring Expectations Remain Strong in China, Hong Kong and Singapore

The hiring expectations of multinational corporations across major Asian markets, though slightly lower than last quarter, remain strong, according to a just-released study conducted by Hudson.

 

Over 1,550 key employment decision makers were surveyed in June 2011 from multinational organisations of all sizes in all major industry sectors. The decision makers surveyed were located in China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

Respondents in all the markets surveyed report a small decline in hiring expectations this quarter. However, they remain at a high level in all three, with China having the highest expectations, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

Across all sectors in China, 72 percent of respondents expect to grow headcount this quarter, compared with an unusually high 77 percent in Q2. The Banking & Financial Services sector reports the highest expectations this quarter: 78 percent of respondents say they will increase hiring, a further rise from Q2’s 75 percent.

 

Overall, 61 percent of respondents in Hong Kong sectors say they will hire more staff in Q3 and just 1 percent expect to reduce headcount. This is the first quarter in which expectations have fallen since Q2 2009; many employers are taking a more conservative approach after a first half that was very busy in hiring terms.

 

Hiring expectations in Singapore are following a similar trend to those in the other markets surveyed: across all sectors, 56 percent of respondents expect to grow headcount in Q3, compared with 61 percent the previous quarter.

 

The highest expectations are again reported by the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector, where 67 percent anticipate increased hiring, the same proportion as in Q2.

 

“Hiring expectations are still high despite falling in each market this quarter," comments Mike Game, CEO, Hudson Asia. "A decline was anticipated after two years of consistently strong growth and the overall picture remains very positive.”

 

Respondents were asked about the factors that have had made a positive difference to their company’s performance over the past twelve months.

 

Better management practices are seen as the most significant factors in China and Singapore, while respondents in Hong Kong say that cost control measures have had the greatest impact.

 

Across all sectors in China, 57 percent say that better management practices have had a positive impact on performance, a much higher figure than for any other factor and also the highest for the markets surveyed in Asia.

 

The next most important factors are individual achievement by top talent and new products and services, both mentioned by 39 percent of respondents.

 

Hong Kong is the only market in which cost control measures are seen as the most significant factor.

 

Across all sectors, 45 percent give this response while restructuring the organisation and better management practices are both mentioned by 37 percent of respondents.

 

Three factors are regarded as especially significant in Singapore: better management practices, restructuring the organisation and cost control measures are mentioned by 45%, 44% and 42% of respondents respectively.

 

Better management practices are seen as most important in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector, where this factor is cited by 57%.

 

Managers Stay Longer in Post in Hong Kong

Across all sectors in China, 60 percent of respondents say that the average tenure for managerial employees is three years or less. Of these, 34 percent report average tenure of between two and three years, while 26 percent say it is two years or less.

 

According to 50 percent of respondents in Hong Kong, the average tenure for managerial employees is over three years, a higher figure than for the other markets. Of these, 25 percent say that the average tenure is between three and four years and 25 percent say it is over four years.

 

According to 50 percent of respondents in Hong Kong, the average tenure for managerial employees is over three years, a higher figure than for the other markets. Of these, 25 percent say that the average tenure is between three and four years and 25 percent say it is over four years.

 

Managers Leaving in First Year

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents across all sectors in China say they have experience of managers leaving in the first year. The IT&T sector has the highest proportion of managers who fail to complete a full year in their positions, with 82 percent giving this response.

 

The figure for Hong Kong is much lower than that for China: overall, 38 percent of respondents say that managers in their company have left within a year.

 

The Media/PR/Advertising sector has by far the highest proportion of managers who fail to stay in their positions for a full year, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents saying they have experienced this.

 

In Singapore, 37 percent of respondents across all sectors say that they have experienced managerial employees leaving within a year of joining the organisation.

 

Reasons for Leaving

At 53 percent, China has the highest proportion of respondents who give the role failing to meet expectations as a reason for managers leaving within a year.

 

Issues with management/work culture, managers using the job as a hopping platform to better offers and the job not being up to salary/benefits expectations are mentioned by 37 percent, 36 percent and 34 percent respectively.

 

In Hong Kong, the job not meeting expectations and managers using the job as a hopping platform to better offers are both mentioned by 37 percent of respondents. A further 33 percent give long work hours/high pressure as a reason for managers leaving early, a much higher figure than for the other markets.

 

The most significant reason for managers leaving early in Singapore is the role not being up to expectations, mentioned by 50 percent of respondents.

 

Nearly one-third (32 percent) cite issues with management/work culture, while 25 percent mention long work hours/high work pressure.

 

 

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