Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have reported optimistic hiring activity for the next six months, especially for fresh university graduates and diploma holders, according to a latest survey by jobsDB.
The survey, which canvassed the opinions of over 300 SMEs in Singapore on their hiring plans and preferences, revealed that 70% of respondents are looking to employ new staff.
Only 10% have frozen headcount for the next six months, while 20% have no current hiring plans.
Job prospects were found to be especially favourable for new university graduates and diploma holders, with 66% and 75% of the SMEs surveyed looking to hire these candidates respectively.
In particular, SMEs are looking to fill positions in sales (40%), administration / office support (31%), accounting, engineering (19%) and IT (18%).
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A majority (83%) of them are looking to hire junior executives, followed by entry level (58%), senior executives (40%), managers (24%) and lastly senior management (11%).
“The survey also uncovered that Gen X employees possessed more favourable work attitudes compared to Gen Y,” the report stated.
“SMEs gave Gen X a 12% higher rating for attendance, punctuality, willingness to work longer hours and work output quality, compared with their Gen Y counterparts.”
Interestingly, the top reasons given in the survey for not hiring included candidates being under-qualified or over-qualified for the position, poorly structured resumes and inappropriate social media behaviour.
Almost half of the respondents (48%) also expressed uncertainty towards hiring foreigners and only 24% said they were still open to it. Most popular reasons for hiring foreigners were a willingness to work longer hours, flexibility with compensation and salary, and highly trainable.
“What we are hearing from SMEs is that the struggle to hire local talent is real,” Sheldon Fernandez, managing director of jobsDB Singapore, said.
“However, it is heartening to see the government introduce initiatives such as SkillsFuture to invest in the development of local talent. This provides local businesses an avenue to access, train and retain locals to help meet the growing demands of their businesses.”