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Demand for Talent Fuels Hiring Boom in Asia

China's strong economic growth is fueling a huge demand for talent, and the latest report from recruitment firm Michael Page reflects just that.

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Up to 66 percent of employers on the mainland say they intend to add staff in the fourth quarter, with majority of jobs in front line sales and account management positions, according to the report which surveyed 300 companies.

Some 55 percent of respondents say business performance in the first three quarters of the year exceeded expectations, prompting the focus on revenue-generating roles going forward, the report said.

"We're seeing levels of confidence which we haven't experienced since 2008 in North Asia, and that's across all sectors, so broadly speaking, the picture is very encouraging," said Michael Page's Managing Director of Greater China and South East Asia, Dan Chavasse.

"We're seeing levels of confidence which we haven't experienced since 2008 in North Asia." -on the region's growing demand for new talent, Dan Chavasse

The report also shows strong hiring trends elsewhere in the region; 57 percent of employers in Hong Kongsay they plan to add staff this quarter, followed by 30 percent in Singapore.

While recruitment is strong across most sectors, the report shows weakness in the financial industry.

"The trend is very strong in property, in luxury products, in consumer products in China, Down in Singapore and South East Asia, more biotech and pharma focused. The only sector which we're seeing a slight softening in demand and we're not yet sure whether it's seasonal, or whether it's more broadly based is in investment banking."

While the recruitment boom is great for job seekers, Michael Page says the surge in demand for white-collar jobs is causing staff retention concerns. More than a third of businesses in China worry about keeping skilled workers, while nearly two-thirds recognize that professional skills shortage will be a challenge for their business in 2011.

Despite China's GDP growth in the third quarter slowing to 9.6 percent, businesses on the mainland are the most upbeat, compared to their Hong Kong and Singaporean counterparts. In China, 51 percent expect business conditions to improve, compared to 41 percent in Hong Kong and 39 percent in Singapore.