Hays finds employees less open to new opportunities.

Slow movers.

The 2019 Hays Asia Salary Guide has found professionals in Singapore expressing less openness to new opportunities in the coming year. The survey, which highlights salary and recruiting trends based on responses from Hays Asia operating markets in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, reveals that of the Singapore-based employees who took part in the research, only about three in ten professionals (35 per cent) are actively seeking a new position, which is a five per cent decrease from last year.

Hays also asked respondents who were not keen on switching jobs about their motivations for staying with their current employer. The majority of respondents (45 per cent) voted work/life balance as the main factors for not looking for a new employer, followed by the management style and company culture (voted by 37 per cent). Coming in third in equal proportions were salary or benefit package and job security (both voted by 33 per cent).

By contrast, those who were indeed looking to change jobs had mostly cited salary or benefit package (60 per cent), seeking new challenges (55 per cent) and lack of career progression (45 per cent) as main reasons for their intentions to move.

Three in five (61 per cent) employees claim to be either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their current compensation package, an improvement from the 46 per cent who felt the same way in 2018. As a result, a majority (65 per cent) of employees did not request for a pay raise.

“While compensation contentment is high, talents in Singapore have considerations that go beyond the financial aspect of their jobs. To continue retaining top talents, we recommend that employers work on placing a greater focus on their employees’ career paths, while employees should take a more proactive stance when entering into dialogue with current or prospective employers to ensure that both parties are clear on what future steps can be taken for candidates to meet their goals,” says Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore.

The report shows that there has been a huge upswing in confidence over current skills levels, with 69 per cent of employees believing that their skillsets will continue to be in demand by employers five years from now, slightly up from the 66 per cent with the same sentiments in the previous year.

“While we are happy to see such conviction from employees in their existing expertise, there is concern as to how grounded this positivity is. With such an impressive rise in confidence one would expect it to be borne of an increase in professional development,” notes Grant. “But our research shows that skills enhancement in Singapore is on a downward trend, with employees spending less and less time out of working hours on upskilling. This is a worrying reality, particularly when you consider how quickly new technologies are changing the face of a broad spectrum of industries.”

“To ensure that employees can be truly confident of their lasting significance they should be looking into ways of developing their professional skills that can safeguard their future in the years to come,” he said.

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