Randstad Singapore has launched the results of the “COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey”, revealing that 51% of respondents are actively looking for a new job in the next 12 months.
The 2020 COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey is an online study conducted by Randstad Singapore with 638 locally-based working professionals between 26 June 2020 and 5 July 2020.
The study aims to understand the local workforce’s sentiments about the employment market this year, as well as the challenges and experiences of job seekers thus far.
Career change and salary dissatisfaction cited as top reasons
Of the 51% of respondents who intend to look for a new job, 25% said that they are looking to change their career or industry that they work in, while 19% said that the pandemic has resulted in them being retrenched.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director, Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has seen companies ramping up their digital infrastructure, with a great number of jobs being digitised or displaced as a result.
“Employees whose job responsibilities have been drastically altered to meet current and new demands may hence be motivated to enter new industries that are perceived to be more recession-proof or can provide a greater level of job security, such as healthcare and technology,” she continued.
“Some may also have altruistic motivations to join frontline industries in the fight against COVID-19. We can expect to see more movements in the job market once the economy picks up and new job opportunities arise.”
Others have cited reasons related to salary for their intention to switch employers. More than 1 in 5 respondents (21%) have reported taking a pay cut or a pay freeze either indefinitely or for a temporary period, 17% also mentioned dissatisfaction with their current salary.
“National lockdowns and slowing international trades and exchanges have severely impacted companies’ financial confidence this year. A number of companies have implemented cost-cutting measures such as retrenchments and pay cuts, and many are working towards optimising operational efficiency with a leaner workforce,” Dass added.
“These cost management measures may result in uncertainty and lack of confidence within the workforce, as employees may feel that the company is not financially stable enough to survive this pandemic. Therefore, to avoid being a collateral loss, some would choose to take the risk and join an employer that is seen to be more financially stable as soon as they can,” she continued.
69% willing to take on professional contract or project-based jobs
Close to 7 in 10 of all respondents (69%) are willing to take on professional contract or project-based jobs given the current condition. Those who would rather wait for a permanent job opportunity cited the lack of job security (65%) and hassle of finding a new job every time a contract ends (19%) as their top two reasons for not considering a term-based role.
Dass explains, “Though many would perceive that contracting jobs are not as stable as a permanent position, many are starting to see it as a viable option during these trying times as it ensures income stability, at least till one is able to secure a permanent position. Furthermore, we’ve observed more companies offering term-based or project-based roles to fulfill urgent skills and talent needs that will ensure business continuity while managing headcount costs.
“Contract roles also offer mid-career switchers a chance to get their foot in the door to gain relevant skills and experience, especially if it’s an industry or company they would like to build their career in. Given the current employment situation, fresh graduates or people who have been retrenched may want to consider accepting a contracting role as an opportunity to gain experience, as companies come to grips with the pandemic,” she advises.