The 2018 Job Outlook Survey by JobStreet.com and jobsDB highlights interesting insights into the current year’s job trends in Asia. General outlook seems promising for those in the process of job hunting, especially jobseekers in Philippines and Singapore, with approximately 95% of hirers in those countries expected to be actively recruiting this year, which is an encouraging improvement from last year.
If you’re currently in the market for a new job, or looking for a career change, here are 6 hiring trends you need to know, summed up in an illustrated infographic:
In review : Insights into employers’ recruiting trends
#1 Positive hiring outlook in 2018 across Asia
All things considered, the job market in 2018 offers a fairly positive outlook for jobseekers, with 6 out of 10 hirers saying they will increase or maintain their hiring rate.
#2 Top 3 recruitment channels for employers
Online job boards are still the clear favourite for employers, followed by referrals and company websites (career pages). This is where networking makes a world of difference in brokering connections and opportunities.
#3 Best time to look for a job
Make the most of the first half of the year—the hiring season is expected to peak during the first quarter and towards June before levelling off thereafter.
#4 Key industries that are hiring
A quick glance tells us that the key industries to focus on for employment opportunities in Asia this year include HR/Consultancy, Banking/Financial Services and Manufacturing/Production.
#5 Most sought-after job specialisations
Following on from the key industries that are hiring in 2018, we look at the most highly sought-after job specialisations. These include Sales, Customer Service, Marketing/Business Development, Finance – General/Cost Accounting, and IT/Computer – Software professions.
#6 Top high-growth industries in Asia in 2017
While the highest growth industries in 2017 differ for each country, we’ve compiled the following country-specific economic insights that are interesting to note:
Noteworthy economic insights
- One of the fastest growing economies after China and Vietnam with a reported GDP growth of 6.7% in 2017.
- In the Golden Age of Infrastructure, with 44.8% growth in government spending on infrastructure.
- With BPO projected to continue growing through real estate take-up until 2020, job growth in this sector is likewise projected to continue rising.
- The government’s Manufacturing Resurgence Program (MRP), on its second phase in 2018-2021, is showing results in creating more high value activities, increased investment in upstream industries, and integrating small, medium and large establishments.
- Hiring climate shows encouraging growth in optimism amongst hirers, with only 5% of hirers surveyed expressing intention of freezing hiring, compared to 21% last year.
- The government’s Industry Transformation Map (ITM) is expected to revive the country’s lagging marine and offshore engineering (M&OE) sector with projections of 1,500 new jobs and a contribution of S$5.8 billion to Singapore’s GDP by 2025 (source: Channel NewsAsia).
- Contributing nearly half of the total national GDP (44.7%), the services sector comprising industries such as finance, health, tourism, hospitality, retail and etc, provides jobs for 37% of the formal labour force (source: worldatlas).
- IT and insurance industries are showing healthy growth due to the digital disruption of new technologies, an aging population, and increased awareness of healthy living and eating habits.
- On the other hand, the electronics and construction industries are declining due to adverse market conditions.
- According to Global Business Guide Indonesia, foreign investment is expected to go up as a result of Indonesia’s sovereign rating being elevated to investment grade by three international rating agencies—Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s (S&P).
- Other growth contributors in 2018 include a strong labour market, decline in cost of loans, and improved performance of public infrastructure development.
- A report by the New Straits Times highlights that the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in March 2017 is expected to create 60,000 high-income jobs primarily for the youth.
- The same report further states that analysis by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) predicts Malaysia might achieve high-income status as early as the first quarter of 2018.
- General forecast for Malaysia’s 2018 economic growth is within the range of 5.5 to 5.8%, with favourable prospects of stable inflation, low unemployment, and rising quality of life, backed by evidence of an improving education system, steadily growing number of jobs, declining inequalities of income, and a gradually improving public transport system.
- Forbes shares rosy predictions for Vietnam’s economic growth in 2018 as foreign investors continue to flock to the country for its low costs, abundance of labour and matter-of-fact permitting process.
- The report by Forbes highlights financial services firm SSI Research claiming “We can reasonably infer that high registered foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017 will result in high disbursed FDI in 2018, yet another year to post double-digit growth in FDI disbursement.”
- The above is further supported by consultancy Dezan Shira & Associates in Ho Chi Minh City who agree that “The FDI scene in the economy continues to thrive”, further elaborating that despite the attention on big name deals, small to medium-sized enterprises and smaller multinational company investors continue to enter the scene with high enthusiasm.
- A recent poll conducted by the Hong Kong office of the global accountancy body, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), found that “32 per cent of respondents were positive about the city’s business and economic prospects in 2018, increasing from just 5 per cent at the same time last year.” (source: South China Morning Post)
- The same study revealed that “Hong Kong’s private sector grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in December, fuelled largely by exports to mainland China and higher tourist arrivals.”
- The ACCA further observed that projections of strong economic growth in China coupled with steady growth in the US are expected to boost the city’s prospects, given its role as an international financial hub.
For more insights into employers’ recruiting trends, download the 2018 Job outlook Survey full report here.
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