Soft demand for IT skills in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines

Online recruitment of IT and BPO professionals across the three Asean markets saw dips last month, with this sector emerging as one of Malaysia's slowest growth markets.

Online recruitment of IT and BPO executives dipped last month across three Asean markets, with this sector emerging as one of Malaysia's lowest growth areas.

Online hiring activities in the country dropped 30 percent year-on-year, while the Philippines saw a 22 percent dip, according to Monster Employer Index's November stats. Singapore's IT sector saw a 4 percent drop year-on-year in November, retaining the same growth dip as October.

Released by online recruitment company Monster, the index looks at hiring opportunities in various markets such as marketing and manufacturing based on a selection of online job sites, including its own platforms in Southeast Asia.

Across the three regional markets, recruitment activities in software, hardware, and telecom weakened in November, with this job category among the lowest growth segments, the index revealed.

It pointed to Malaysia as the worst performing market for jobs in software, hardware, and telecom, clocking a 60 percent dip year-on-year for the month, compared to 53 percent in October. The Philippines recorded a 38 percent drop in November, from a 27 percent dip the previous month for this job category, while Singapore also saw a decline of 14 percent in November, from a 12 percent dip in October.'s managing director for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Middle East, and India, Sanjay Modi, said: "Singapore's regulations and policies have helped cement its position as a friendly business environment for regional and global players. This has encouraged major global IT brands to set up their Asian hubs in the country in 2016, meaning, the IT sector is likely to remain stable in the country and could pick up next year.

"Growth in the Philippines' economy has been sluggish, slowing down overall hiring in the country," Modi added. "Despite this, the nation is expected to outpace most of its peers in the region, especially with new policies expecting to be put in place to drive growth within the nation. This will likely boost hiring activity overall in this sector."