According to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI), the recruitment of HR and admin professionals has seen an annual decline across the region as many employers slow their overall hiring amid weaker economic conditions.

In fact, online job ads activity has decreased year-on-year in all three markets – Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines – monitored by the MEI.

Reported in the press release, despite the slight recovery in year-on-year online hiring in August for Malaysia, the demand for Malaysia’s HR professionals dropped significantly, closing out the quarter at -11%.

“With overall hiring intentions witnessing decline in all three markets, it is not uncommon to see the equal slowdown in e-recruitment of HR and admin professionals. This is relatively typical of the time of year, heading into the final quarter of 2016 when hiring intentions slow down and employers refrain from making many big talent decisions until this New Year,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director at – APAC and Middle East.

As for the industries most affected, Malaysia’s retail sector saw steepest annual decline at -26%; with customer services roles being the least in demand at -49% year-on-year. Following closely behind are the BFSI, IT, telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES, and the logistic, courier/ fragile/ transportation, shipping/ marine sectors, at -22% year-on-year.

Malaysia’s production/ manufacturing, automotive and ancillary sector recorded the least annual decline at -2%.

On the upside, sales and business development roles experienced the steepest annual growth in hiring at 9%. These are also the only roles witnessing a positive growth in online demand this month.

Modi added that Malaysia’s job market is still moving slowly amid the weak global economic climate. "As the country strives to gradually close its fiscal gap, along with the weak demands within the manufacturing sector and falling crude oil prices, the country ’s growth forecasts have been slashed through 2018, causing employers remain cautious and selective when it comes to hiring."

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