IT&T industry sees highest hiring expectations

Tech industry in China, Hong Kong and Singapore has highest level of hiring activities in second quarter compared to other industries, but most new hires considered to be "average" or "bad", according to report.

Compared with other industry segments, the IT&T (IT and telecommunications) sector in China, Hong Kong and Singapore has indicated the highest level of hiring expectations for the second quarter of 2012, according to new data from recruitment agency, Hudson.

Released Wednesday, The Hudson Report stated that hiring expectations in Hong Kong rose from 38 percent in the first quarter to 41 percent in the second quarter. In Singapore, the figures were unchanged as hiring expectations remained at 42 percent for the first two quarters of 2012. However, expectations in China saw a decline from 66 percent in the first quarter to 60 percent in the second quarter.

Across the three Asian economies, hiring expecations in the IT&T sector were the highest compared with other sectors such as banking and financial services, healthcare and life services and manufacturing. In China, hiring in the IT&T segment was at 65 percent, compared with the market average of 60 percent. The fast-growing e-commerce market in China would boost demand for employees, Hudson noted.

However, overall hiring expectations in China has declined compared to the same quarter last year. For the second quarter of 2011, 77 percent of the respondents said they expect to hire more but the figure has dropped to 60 percent this year.

In Hong Kong, 49 percent from the IT&T segment said they would grow headcount this quarter, compared with the overall average of 41 percent. The outlook for Hong Kong in the vendor area was positive, while demand for revenue-generators and candidates with Greater China experience also was strong, according to the report.

That said, at 41 percent, hiring expectations in Hong Kong in the second quarter this year were "much lower" compared to the same period last year when 69 percent said they expect to hire more people.

In Singapore, the IT&T sector had the highest percentage of respondents--at 56 percent--who indicated plans to increase headcount, while 39 percent said it would remain unchanged. There was strong demand for specialists in areas such as cloud computing, security, mobility and business intelligence, Hudson said. Five percent of respondents in the IT&T sector said they planned to decrease their headcount.

However, at 42 percent, hiring expectations across all business sectors in the city-state dipped over the same quarter last year when 61 percent indicated plans to increase their headcount.

Most hires not considered 'good'
The survey also polled executives on their views regarding the quality of hires, the consequence of bad hires, the contribution of high performers to an organization, and the impact of robust hiring practices.

The general view across all business sectors in the three markets was that a large proportion of hires were not deemed "good" employees who exceeded expecations of their roles. In China, the proportion of hires who were considered "average" or "bad" was 64 percent, while respondents in Singapore noted that 54 percent of new hires were not up to standard. Hong Kong saw a lower proportion of "average" or "bad" hires at 46 percent.

The impact of "bad hires" on staff morale was cited as the greatest concern in all three markets. At 65 percent, the Chinese IT&T sector was highlighted as the industry with the highest proporation of respondents who expressed concern over such hires on staff morale.

Similarly, on the subject of high performers, China's IT&T sector placed the greatest emphasis on higher level of motivation as one way good employees added value to the company.

Among respondents in Singapore's IT&T sector, high emphasis was placed on the willingness of high performers to go the extra mile to exceed targets, but focus was least on employees' impact on their team. According to Hudson, this could suggest that high performers in the IT&T sector were more individually-drive, especially for those in specialist or technical roles.


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