Monday, July 21, 2008

Singapore: Hiring slows down in second quarter


HIRING by Singapore companies is slowing down as firms tighten their belts amid rising operating costs and margin pressure, say recruitment agencies.

This cautious approach is in stark contrast to the enthusiastic hiring seen a year ago and experts say the pullback is most evident in the finance and manufacturing sectors.

'Companies in general have become more conscious of their fixed costs,' said Robert Half International managing director Tim Hird.

'We have observed that our clients have become more selective and more cautious in their hiring, rather than imposing total freezes on hiring altogether,' he said.

The sector identified by recruiting firms as having suffered the biggest slide in hiring is investment banking.

But there are pockets of growth within the financial services sector - commodity houses, insurance firms, private equity firms and hedge funds - that are 'still hiring strongly', Mr Hird pointed out.

Another affected sector is information technology (IT), which has seen a 20 per cent fall in hiring.


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