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Survey identifies most at-risk jobs in Shanghai

SALES, marketing and research and development professionals are the most vulnerable positions in the wake of the financial downturn.

But despite a shrinking income, financial professionals who are in charge of corporate expenditure control seems to be relatively secure, according to a recent job survey., the Nasdaq-listed human resource services provider, teamed up with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to ask nearly 1,200 HR managers and financial professionals about their layoff intentions this year.

In the multiple choice questionnaire, about 60 percent of respondents said they would cut head count in their sales team this year, followed by 52 percent who said they'd get rid of marketing employees.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they would be laying off R&D professionals, the survey claimed.

"The findings explicitly reflect the functional nature of those major job positions," said Jennifer Feng, chief HR analyst with

Feng said sales teams are usually the largest department in most companies. Sales personnel with relatively low technical expertise tend to be more easy to replace but rely on performance-based incomes.

With an abundant talent pool available, employers can easily lay off surplus sales-professionals or seek people with lower basic wage expectations.

Marketing and R&D staff are expensive but neither bring in cash in the short-term, so employers would naturally put them near the top of the list when considering layoffs, Feng said.

However, the report suggested only 27 percent of respondents would consider cutting financial staff due to their importance when firms are trying to tighten budgets during periods of financial difficulty.

Angelina Tao, a local financial controller, said the results of the survey would encourage financial professionals to sharpen up their performance to prevent themselves from being included in the next round of layoffs.


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