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Service and sales jobs at risk; PMEs in demand if hiring expands: SBF survey

SINGAPORE — Employers with plans to hire in the next 12 months would be looking to recruit professionals, managers and executives (PMEs). Conversely, those intending to reduce hiring over the same period are likely to cut the headcount for job positions such as clerks, service and sales workers.

In a recent business survey, 53 per cent of large companies and 64 per cent of small- and medium-sized enterprises said that they expect to maintain headcount in next 12 months.

In a recent business survey, 53 per cent of large companies and 64 per cent of small- and medium-sized enterprises said that they expect to maintain headcount in next 12 months.

  • A Singapore Business Federation survey found that about 29 per cent of SMEs and 11 per cent of large companies are looking to downsize or fold
  • More than 60 per cent of businesses surveyed expect economic uncertainty to continue
  • Most companies said they were prepared to hire mid-career workers

 

SINGAPORE — Employers with plans to hire in the next 12 months would be looking to recruit professionals, managers and executives (PMEs). Conversely, those intending to reduce hiring over the same period are likely to cut the headcount for job positions such as clerks, service and sales workers.

About a third of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and about one in 10 large companies are looking to close a segment of their business or the whole company. 

These were some of the findings from a survey done by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) that were released on Monday (Aug 31).

The survey also found that most employers are prepared to hire mid-career individuals. 

Overall, more than 60 per cent of large companies and SMEs expect the current economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to continue over the next 12 months. 

The two-week survey, launched on Aug 7, gathered responses from 225 companies, out of which 83 per cent of them were SMEs and the rest were large companies. 

KEY FINDINGS

Top three challenges faced by businesses over the next 12 months

Large companies: Manpower management (71 per cent), inability to travel overseas (58 per cent) and uncertain demand to sustain business (55 per cent)

SMEs: Manpower management (61 per cent), uncertain demand to sustain business (61 per cent) and uncertainty of coping when Government support is withdrawn (52 per cent)

Top priorities for businesses

Large companies: Managing costs and cashflow to ensure business survival (79 per cent), human resource management (58 per cent) and supply chain resilience (53 per cent)

SMEs: Managing costs and cashflow to ensure business survival (87 per cent), human resource management (52 per cent) and digitalisation (37 per cent) 

Areas most in need of assistance

Large companies: Cost relief (74 per cent) and rental assistance (50 per cent)

SMEs: Cost relief (73 per cent) and rental assistance (56 per cent)

Added costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Large companies: Lodging and levy costs related to foreign manpower (26 per cent)

SMEs: Lodging and levy costs related to foreign manpower (22 per cent)

Headcount review

Large companies: 84 per cent conducted headcount reviews and 53 per cent stuck to the status quo, while 18 per cent retrenched employees

SMEs: 63 per cent conducted headcount reviews and 31 per cent stuck to the status quo, while 2 per cent retrenched employees 

Hiring outlook

Large companies:

  • 53 per cent expect to maintain headcount in next 12 months

  • 45 per cent intend to hire PMEs if they increase hiring over next 12 months

  • 24 per cent intend to reduce the hiring of clerical, service and sales workers if they cut headcount over next 12 months

SMEs:

  • 64 per cent expect to maintain headcount in next 12 months

  • 29 per cent intend to hire PMEs if they increase hiring over next 12 months

  • 18 per cent intend to reduce the hiring of clerical, service and sales workers if they cut headcount over next 12 months

Hiring of mid-career workers

Large companies:

  • 79 per cent prepared to hire mid-career workers

  • Those that do not wish to hire mid-career workers said that it is because they have to train them to have the right skills (25 per cent) or are unable to train or not certain if training will be successful (25 per cent)

SMEs:

  • 64 per cent prepared to hire mid-career workers

  • Those that do not wish to hire mid-career workers said that it is because they cannot meet wage expectations (38 per cent) or have to train them to have the rights skills (29 per cent)

Related topics

Jobs business SMEs hiring retrench

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