IT&T in China, S'pore to see most hires

update Hiring expectations for IT and telecommunications in China set to outpace other sectors during the third quarter of 2010, a trend similar in Singapore, finds new Hudson report.

update Demand for IT specialists is growing fast in China, with the IT&T (IT and telecommunications) sector reporting the highest growth in hiring expectations for the third quarter compared with other industries, according to a report by Hudson.

Released Tuesday by the executive recruitment agency, the latest quarterly survey on hiring trends in Asia found that 72 percent of IT&T companies in China are planning to boost their recruitment in the third quarter, an increase from 53 percent in Q2. The hiring rise is due to post-recession expansion in IT budgets, said Hudson.

Going forward, employees in the IT&T sector in China are also more likely to pay more to retain top talent. Among the IT&T sector respondents, 43 percent indicated they were prepared to increase salaries by more than 20 percent. In contrast, an average of 28 percent across all sectors said they would up remuneration by the same scale.

While offering a counter-offer to retain top talent is a strategy for companies, Mike Game, CEO, Asia, Hudson, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview that this is only a reactive measure.

Instead, employers need to be proactive in creating a working environment which is not only attractive to prospective employees but is able to retain existing high performing staff, he said.

Pro-active initiatives to retain top talent include promotion opportunities, incentive plans as well as learning and development opportunities, he said.

Conducted in May, the survey polled more than 1,500 employment decision makers from three Asia-Pacific markets--China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Hudson found that hiring expectations for all three markets continue to be on the rise.

Similar to the trend in China, Singapore's IT&T sector is expecting the highest jump in headcount growth compared to other sectors. IT&T hiring expectations in the nation state rose from 52 percent in the second quarter to 64 percent in the third, but for a different reason.

According to Hudson, the demand will come from major international technology companies and financial institutions which are establishing and expanding their regional IT hubs in Singapore. These developments will create demand for range of roles in sales and operations, said Hudson.

More S'pore candidates saying 'No' to offers
While growth of hiring expectations for IT&T in Singapore is highest, the sector also faces the issue of having the most number of job candidates turning down job offers. Hudson statistics revealed that 12 percent of respondents reported candidates declined offers "often", while 29 percent indicated their offers are "sometimes" turned down.

The recruitment firm attributed the trend to savvy job seekers out to land the best offer for themselves. IT professionals with sought after specialist skills, explained Hudson, are often accustomed to working for a variety of companies and have a sophisticated approach to career development. These professionals are likely to pursue their career goals single-mindedly rather than simply exploring the market, which can lead to candidates playing potential employers against each other.

The figures for IT&T job offer refusals were not stated for China but Hudson noted that 86 percent of the respondents said accepting an offer from another company was the most likely reason for IT&T candidates to turn down job offers.

While the IT&T sector's hiring growth for Hong Kong was not included in the report, Hudson noted that in the media, public relations and advertising sector which has the highest hiring expectations, public relations professionals with technology experience are highly sought after.

Job prospects for employment in the IT&T industry might be encouraging, however Game noted that candidates who are looking to switch jobs in the industry should not do so only for the pay rise.

He advised job seekers to undertake "due diligence" carefully by commencing with a review of their mid- and long-term career aspirations. They should evaluate job opportunities in the context of their overall career aspirations, he added.