Perhaps the most common question I get asked these days is whether the dark days of the recession are truly behind us and specifically, are employers hiring again?
Well, I can certainly say that 2010 was better than 2009. But what of 2011?
As anyone in recruitment knows, the answer to that question is a moving target, hard to pin down at best, totally elusive at worst.
And of course it depends what sector we are talking about, what level of employee, and what country or even city.
To make an informed assessment of the coming 12 months, I have looked at our business activity in the countries and cities where Firebrand operates. I have also gone right to the coalface to get an opinion from people who are immersed in hiring and placing marketing, creative and digital professionals. I asked our senior management across the world the simple question …
Comparing 2011 to 2010, is client hiring demand in marketing, creative and digital going to be flat, get better, or get worse?
So, not scientific, but based on client feedback, our own WIP pipelines, and a bit of pure recruiter instinct, the chart below reflects our observations and informed predictions for permanent and search recruitment.
Europe is still largely flat. Certainly both the Paris and London offices of Firebrand saw much better demand in 2010 than we experienced in 2009, but our senior management there see no boom in the coming year. The good news is that hiring is taking place and some of our roles are growth driven rather than replacements, particularly in France. However, we anticipate that 2011 will be steady, rather than a boom.
On the other hand, we are more bullish on Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. These economies are on a growth trajectory, and it is showing in terms of new orders and new clients flowing into Firebrand offices. Hong Kong’s outlook is solid because of China’s growth. The banking sector, retail, property, and stock market are growing strongly and this is driving fresh hires. One quirky aspect of the Hong Kong situation is the fact that China has property and stock market bubbles, which are highly risky and unstable. There is a suggestion that Mainland Chinese are hedging their bets by parking their assets in Hong Kong.
Singapore GDP growth in 2010 was 15%, bouncing back dramatically from a poor 2009. The Singapore government expects growth to normalise to 5-6%. Banking, property, entertainment/ hospitality, and healthcare sectors are very buoyant and the job market is starting to overheat.
Malaysia has been stable through the recovery after 2009. Malaysia is blessed with natural resources including commodities that are in strong demand in global markets. We anticipate hiring demand in 2011 to be better than 2010 and continuing to improve.
Japan, while much better than 2009, still has challenges to address, specifically a very sluggish economy. We are seeing positive signs in Tokyo and anticipate hiring growth to be small but steady. Osaka we believe will be flat.
The Australian economy has been a standout in terms of resilience during the financial crisis. However this did not protect the job market fully, particularly in marketing and creative, which went into a sustained slump. Signs are now far more positive and in both Sydney and Melbourne we are predicting very strong jobs growth, particularly in digital creative, during 2011.
So, a mixed bag across the world as you would expect. But overall it seems job creation is back and hiring is on the increase.
- Posted by Greg Savage
- On January 19, 2011
- 4 Comments