Q2 Market Update for Singapore and South East Asia

Q2 Market Update for Singapore and South East Asia


Sean Tong HR Insight

Since 2016, Asia has been experiencing rapid growth and the economic outlook in Asia remains optimistic. As a region we have seen this growth continue and we have noticed an exceptional performance in Q1 2017. We are witnessing continued investments with more organizations looking to set up operations in the emerging markets across Asia. Singapore continues to be the chosen hub to set up APAC Headquarters.

There is high confidence amongst organizations to further invest in emerging markets due to the abundance of labour and with many global MNCs having previously set up strong operations. Indonesia, Thailand and China remain as three of the region’s largest. On the flipside, Myanmar, Laos & Vietnam are countries which are growing rapidly resulting in more investments by their governments in building and improving their infrastructure. Companies have started their foray into these countries however, it may take several years before we see strong attraction from these emerging markets.

The Singapore economy has been relatively bleak with redundancies happening across certain industries. In HR, we observe several retrenchment exercises that are taking place currently which are usually because of restructuring and reorganization. A majority of the open positions that we are working on are mainly replacement roles. Not many of these positions are newly created.

We speak with CHROs, HR Leaders and HR professionals and have identified 4 trends that we foresee to remain highly relevant for 2017:

  1. More stringent hiring processes to identify strong talents and a focus on culture and personality fit;
  2. High emphasis on the total employee value proposition: ADR ideology (Attraction, Development, Retention);
  3. Being a more inclusive employer; diversity in the workplace, advocating for more female leadership, culture building, pro-family policies (Across the region, approximately 60 percent of senior HR leadership roles are represented by females); and
  4. Stronger demand for HR professionals who are business savvy and have a strong affinity and understanding of their businesses across Asia. (Particularly professionals who have dealt with HR issues in neighbouring countries, emerging markets and China).

If you are looking to hire or considering a career change, please get in touch for a confidential discussion.