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Managing Director South/South East Asia

Automation leaves one in five concerned about job security

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Recruitment firm Randstad’s Employer Brand Research found that nearly one in five (17.3%) employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia fear that automation will take their jobs away.

Singapore (19%) and Hong Kong (20%) employees held the highest fears of losing their jobs to automation. Malaysian employees on the other hand held a much more relaxed sentiment with only 13% of employees having fears around automation and their job security.

The prospect of losing their jobs to automation did not dampen their prospects, over six in ten employees said they would be happy to retrain into a new role provided that their salaries would remain the same or higher than before. Singapore and Malaysian employees were the most open to retraining with 72% and 70% stating so respectively, whereas only 52% of Hong Kongers felt the same way. On the opposite end, one in ten said they would rather move a different company than retrain.

Despite fears of automation taking jobs away, a large group of employees feel that automation will in fact make their jobs better. Nearly half, 45% of employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia held a positive outlook on automation with Malaysian employees being the most optimistic (51%) and Hong Kong employees being the most pessimistic (39%).

One third of all employees in each market felt indifference towards automation and stated that they felt it would have no effect on their jobs. A further one in five stated that they could not imagine technology taking away their jobs.

Michael Smith, Managing Director, Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia noted, “Through discussions with senior leaders from varying industries, we’ve seen that many organisations are in the midst of executing digital strategies incorporating automation into their daily business operations – including Randstad. With many employees are already experiencing some level of automation being integrated into their daily work lives, it‟s clear why nearly half of employees in the region feel that automation will make their jobs easier.”

“Automation is a polarising subject; our Randstad Employer Brand Research findings clearly reinforce that. The results further highlight the need for organisations to pay even more attention to the sentiments of their employees and potential talent to understand what they need to focus on to be an employer of choice,” added Smith.

The Randstad Employer Brand Award, previously known as the Randstad Awards, is presented each year to the most attractive employer in 26 countries across the globe. It is based on the outcome of one of the world‟s most representative and inclusive research into employer branding, covering over 160,000 global respondents.

The 75 largest companies are selected in each participating country, usually with more than 1,000 employees. This list is presented to a representative cross section of relevant respondents based on region, age, education and gender. In Singapore and Hong Kong, over 5,000 employees and jobseekers between the ages of 18-65 were surveyed. In Malaysia, over 4,500 were surveyed.

If you are keen to learn more about the local employer branding landscape from our latest research, do download the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2017 Hong Kong report.

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