With the global economic slowdown and political uncertainty, Singapore is set for a slowdown this year, with employment prospects for the year hardly rosy.
But there are bright spots, according to the latest report by recruitment firm Robert Walters. In particular, technology specialists, digital marketers and regulatory and compliance project professionals are in high demand.
Recruitment in the tech sector is set for an uptick with the Government's plan to boost the local start-up ecosystem, said the report, which was released yesterday.
As more firms shift from traditional retail to e-commerce, professionals with experience in developing the latest technology and platforms will be highly sought after.
"There will be cautious hiring activity in some sectors while employers in other booming industries might be ramping up their recruitment efforts," said Mr Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters South-east Asia.
Based on its Asia Job Index, the number of IT jobs advertised in Singapore in the fourth quarter of last year surged 30 per cent year-on-year, despite a decline of 1.4 per cent in the overall number of jobs advertised here for the same period of time, reported The Straits Times.
This "cautious" confidence has also been reflected in another survey, which showed that more small businesses in Singapore are expecting to increase head count this year, compared with last year.
However, the annual CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, which studied eight markets in the region, also revealed that these same businesses have low growth expectations for this year.
Mr Alex Malley, CPA Australia's chief executive, believes the optimism around employment could be because small businesses only expect weak business growth in the short term.
"Small businesses reporting a positive outlook in hiring intentions may indicate a belief that stronger economic conditions could start to emerge in the latter half of 2017," he said.
Those in the technology business appear to be thriving in Singapore lately.
Tech titan Facebook is looking to expand its presence here and is said to have secured a large office space at the massive Marina One development, which is expected to be completed this year.
Industry sources, who asked not to be named, told The Straits Times that the social media firm will occupy more than 250,000 sq ft of space over several floors at the office tower in Marina Bay, taking up about 13 per cent of the total 1.88 million sq ft of prime Grade A office space available.
According to The Straits Times, Facebook moved to a 70,000 sq ft office at South Beach Tower in Beach Road in August 2015, from a commercial building at 158, Cecil Street.
Mr Nick Pan, 40, regional head of strategy and planning at digital marketing and advertising firm VML, told The New Paper that they are constantly looking to hire, especially those with experience.
The agency employs 2,800 people globally, with 140 based in Singapore.
Mr Pan said: "The skill sets that we require are very specialised, and we are looking for people with five to seven years of experience. Such specialised training was not (widely) available in schools before."
This article was first published on January 20, 2017.
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