Companies in Asia to hire more

New report shows that businesses in the region are not only looking to increase staff strength, but are also paying more to attract managerial staff.
Written by Lynn Tan @ Redhat, Contributor

Companies in the Asia-Pacific region, with the exception of Japan, are looking to expand their staff strength and paying more to attract talents at the managerial level, according to a new report from human resources agency Hudson.

Released today, the survey polled more than 2,200 key employment decision makers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, and included respondents from multinational organizations of all sizes across all major industry sectors.

According to the study, permanent employment expectations for the first quarter of this year have risen in all the markets surveyed, except Japan where expectations have dipped slightly.

Of the four countries, China had the highest hiring expectations which increased from 56 percent in the fourth quarter 2006 to 59 percent this quarter, after falling for four consecutive quarters.

Expectations in Singapore have also risen, from 52 percent between October and December last year to 56 percent in the first quarter of this year. Hong Kong saw the same upward trend, where 54 percent plan to increase headcount this quarter, an increase from 53 percent from the previous quarter.

Japan, however, is the only market where hiring expectations have taken a dive. Some 57 percent of respondents indicated plans to recruit more staff, compared to 63 percent in the fourth quarter.

Tech prospects
According to Hudson's report, 32 percent of respondents from the IT and telecommunications sector in Hong Kong indicated plans to hire more staff in the first quarter this year. The firm added that demand for IT and telecoms staff remains high in certain areas, notably among banks.

Hiring expectations remained unchanged in the IT and telecommunications sector in Singapore, with 56 percent of respondents planning to employ more staff in the first quarter, compared with last quarter.

In China, companies in a number of sectors are now investing in "technology renovation" and this has fueled demand for IT specialists. However, 44 percent from the IT and telecommunications sector said they will increase headcount in the first quarter this year--a dip from 50 percent last quarter.

Hiring expectations also fell in Japan, where 58 percent of IT and telecommunications companies said they plan to expand their staff strength this quarter, compared to 64 percent last quarter. While the first quarter is generally "slow" in terms of hiring activities in this sector, many companies in Japan are looking to enhance customer service, thereby creating demand for technical and customer support staff, according to the report.

Hudson's survey also revealed that substantial increases in salaries for new managerial hires are expected across the IT and telecommunications market in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Gary Lazzarotto, Hudson's CEO for Asia, said in a statement: "Employment expectations are at a high level in all the markets surveyed and most employers are optimistic about future prospects.

"But the tight job market means that employers must offer substantial increases in salaries and bonuses, if they are to attract the candidates they need."

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