SINGAPORE - The employment outlook in Singapore remains optimistic in 2016, with more firms looking to hire new employees.
According to the latest half-yearly survey by recruitment firm Hudson, 41 per cent of employers said that they plan to increase their headcount in the new year, whereas only 6 per cent have plans to decrease it.
This means that the net effect of intention to hire stands at 35.8 per cent, which is up slightly from 32.1 per cent last June. It also represents the first time in a year that hiring expectations have increased.
The latest report also found that almost three-quarters of workers are considering a new job in 2016. 34 per cent are actively searching for a new position, while 40 per cent are passively seeking one.
More than eight in 10 workers would also considering changing industries, with banking and financial services being the favoured industry to move into.
But the industries that are likely to see the most hiring acitivity in 2016 are the media, PR and advertising industries, with 59 per cent of employers there planning to increase their headcounts.
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees would consider moving countries, with Australia, the United States and China being the top three destinations of choice.
The survey also revealed that attractive salaries are the strongest 'pull factor' for employees, with 56 per cent citing getting the right pay as most crucial in a new role.
However, salary disappointments are not the main reason for people wanting to change jobs. Instead, the biggest issue cited by employees seeking a new job is a perceived lack of career progression (27%), followed by being bored and needing a new challenge (18%).
Mr Emmanuel White, Regional Director at Hudson Singapore, said that the survey's results show that employers are feeling confident enough to put hiring back on the agenda.
"It's positive to see that organisations are planning for growth. However, the more buoyant the economy, the harder it will be to attract people with the right skills and experience. In this market, there will be strong competition for talent," he said.
Mr White also noted that most Singapore employees are willing to move to progress upwards in their career. "They are looking to sectors experiencing growth, such as finance and healthcare, as well as to other western, English-speaking countries that will give them a global CV."
He added that to retain workers, employers would need to focus on salaries, as well as non-financial factors such as career progression and managing workloads and flexible working hours.