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The coming year will be a busy one for recruiters, with organisations indicating plans to increase hiring activity after a slow 2016. Improving the speed and quality of hires amid a limited talent pool will be a key focus area Kelvin Ong


rom automobile makers and oil conglomerates to financial institutions and technology startups, 2016 has been a year of layoffs, and this trend does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. Just last month, several global organisations saw major changes – Volkswagen announced that it planned to cut 30,000 jobs globally by 2025; General Motors shed 2,000 workers from its US operations, the automobile manufacturer’s first round of layoffs since 2010; while Intel let go of most of the employees in its wearables group. In Singapore and Malaysia, the total number of retrenchments in 2016 is also on track to be higher than in 2015, according to official government estimates.

Optimistic hiring outlook But despite the worrying trend, employers in Southeast Asia are optimistic about their hiring outlook in 2017. Some 62% of the recruiters surveyed in LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report said they would increase their hiring volume next year. Technology company Cognizant is one such company. Having ramped up

its hiring in 2016 – its global workforce strength is expected to have grown by 34,000 employees over the year – it plans to continue even further on this track because of aggressive expansion plans in the region. The company, which currently employs more than 1,500 professionals in Singapore, will continue to seek highly-skilled technology and business professionals to support its growing business demands globally. “Our pipeline continues to be strong, and we continue to hire in areas that require new or different skillsets to position us for evolving client demand,” says its Asia-Pacific Head Jayajyoti Sengupta. “We track hiring closely and manage headcount over the longer term to ensure that we have the appropriate workforce to meet evolving client demand.” Healthcare technology and consumer electronics company Philips is also looking to increase hiring, especially in emerging Southeast Asia markets, says Adele Png, Head of Talent Acquisition in Asia-Pacific. The healthcare arm will particularly continue to hire for sales and marketing roles, as well as after-sales support

“If you ask a recruiter what’s in a name, the most likely response would be ‘everything’.” Jayajyoti Sengupta, Head of Asia-Pacific, Cognizant




HRM 16.12 Supplement  

Guide of the Year 2017

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