S'pore companies to hire more IT workers

New recruitment survey finds demand for IT professionals higher in the island-state, compared to China, Hong Kong and Japan.

More businesses in Singapore are looking to hire IT professionals this quarter than those in China, Hong Kong and Japan, according to a new report.

Conducted by human resources agency Hudson, the study found that 12 percent of the respondents from Singapore indicated plans to hire IT professionals. Hong Kong and Japan were tied at 9 percent each, while only 3 percent of companies in China indicated they will be looking for IT specialists. Over 2,400 multinational organizations in various industries from the four countries were surveyed for the report.

The Hudson report noted that many companies recognize Singapore as a technology hub due to the country's "infrastructure and intellectual property protection". This has led to a "strong demand" for professionals in the engineering and technical fields, as well as in the IT and telecommunications industry.

The positive trend in Singapore's IT job market is in sync with the nation's overall employment outlook, with 49 percent of respondents expecting to welcome new hires this quarter, up by 2 percent from the previous quarter.

Employment expectations are highest in China, where 67 percent of companies foresee increased hiring, while Hong Kong recorded its most optimistic forecast in four years, with 54 percent of employers revealing plans to expand their staff headcount.

Healthy economies in the four countries polled also spelled new implications for both employers and employees--salaries and bonuses are set to rise.

Several companies in the countries surveyed still have plans to hire permanent staff, Gary Lazzarotto, CEO of Hudson Asia, said in the report, making it "harder for employers to recruit and retain the talent they need". "As a result, there is a strong upward trend in both salaries and bonuses," he said.

Across the four markets, over 60 percent of companies estimated salaries for managerial staff will rise by more than 5 percent this quarter. Singapore recorded the highest figure, where 75 percent of companies indicated that salaries will increase over 5 percent. The outlook for salary rises also appeared rosy for employees in China, as 48 percent of Chinese companies estimated salary raises of over 10 percent.

Some 67 percent of companies are also planning to increase bonus payouts by more than 5 percent. The trend was most evident in China, where 77 percent of companies forecast a raise in bonuses of over 5 percent.