Southeast Asian HR and admin professionals looking for a new job online might find it increasingly harder as online hiring sentiment across the region remains slow with few signs of growth.

According to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), across Southeast Asia, Malaysia saw the greatest decline in the online hiring of HR and admin professionals in May - a year-on-year decline of 13%.

Similarly, Singapore also witnessed a 5% year-on-year decline, while Philippines recorded a 3% year-on-year decline.

MEI (May 2017)


“With businesses restructuring to make every function more cost effective, there is no doubt that demand for recruitment specialists will surpass general HR vacancies. Regardless of a slow down due to various economic and geopolitical factors, the HR function will be crucial as the ability for organisations to thrive relies on them being able to attract and retain vital skills and talent,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director of (APAC & Middle East).

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The MEI also highlighted some of the highest and lowest growth industries and occupations in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.


Overall, online hiring sentiment in Malaysia saw a 14% decline from a year ago.

By industry, the oil and gas sector recorded the greatest growth at 16% year on year; while the retail sector witnessed the steepest decline of 35%.

Sales and business development professionals saw the highest increase in demand (9% year-on-year growth). On the other hand, customer service professionals saw the greatest drop in demand - a decline of 64% from last year.


Online recruitment activity in the Lion City registered a 2% decline from last year.

IT, telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES sector leads among industry groups with a 13% year-on-year increase in demand; whereas the consumer goods/ FMCG, food and packaged food, home appliance, garments/ textiles/ leather, gems and jewellery sector declined the most with a 5% decline from last year.

By occupation, software, hardware, telecom professionals witnessed the most-notable growth in demand (13%), while demand for hospitality and travel professionals saw the biggest dip - a 9% drop year-on-year.


Overall, online hiring in the Philippines charted annual growth of 12% in May 2017.

Among sectors, BPO/ITES led the way with a 30% year-on-year increase in online hiring activity. On the other hand, the engineering, construction and real estate sector registered the steepest decline on-the-year with a 6% dip.

By job-roles, customer service professionals were most in-demand on an annual basis - registering a 40% increase. While HR and admin roles came in as the least in-demand occupation with a 3% drop from last year.

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