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HR generalists in demand

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HR professionals in the region will have to be a Jack of all trades if they wish to remain competitive.

More companies are looking to streamline their organisation’s HR function and are looking for HR professionals with a comprehensive skill set including being able to manage strategic and operational capabilities, talent development and business partnering.

According to the Robert Walters Annual Global Salary Survey, this differs from last year, where HR professionals with Southeast Asian and start-up experience across all industries were in high demand.

The number of job openings in Singapore fell 35% between Q3 and Q4 last year, but Andrea Ross, managing director of Robert Walters Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, said there is still high demand for candidates within the mid to senior level range.

“This year we expect to see strong demand from the property and construction industries with further construction development in the pipeline,” Ross said.

“Opportunities will continue to emerge within the retail space as more shopping centres, hotels and casinos are built. Banks and financial services companies will also be seeking local talent with strong contacts and a proven track record.”

In the same vein, the report also found a regional quarter-on-quarter drop of 3.7% in the number of job advertisements in Q4.

“This was not unexpected, with a combination of economic uncertainty and the fulfilment of corporate budgets, many companies waited until the start of the new calendar year before committing to headcount increases,” the report said.

However, Mark Ellwood, managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia, said the numbers were not surprising, as the number of job ads then tend to taper off towards the end of the year.

“We do not see this getting any worse and there has been more recent evidence of a pick-up in sentiment in China, which may start to flow through the rest of the region,” he said.

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