The employment market continues to expand after Singapore withstood the damaging effects of Covid-19 in the country’s economy, according to RGF International Recruitment in their newest report: “Advancing Beyond Recovery: Talent in Asia 2023-Singapore“. As a global leader in recruitment solutions, RGF’s report surveyed nearly 3,000 employees and employers across seven key sectors regarding sentiment, hiring activities, and recommendations for talents and employers in 2023 to make better-informed decisions and strategies.
According to data from the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, the nation’s employment rate has continued to grow, while unemployment rates have remained low. RGF’s survey revealed there is a notable sense of optimism in hiring activity.
- 64% of companies in Singapore are actively recruiting for open roles.
- The most optimistic industries, both 62%, are Healthcare & life sciences and Consumer goods, retail, and hospitality.
- About 30% of employers surveyed said they were relatively optimistic for the next 6-12 months, because of how their industries positively weathered the challenges of COVID-19, further contributing to their optimistic stance moving forward.
A mismatched expectation
Despite the positive outlook and the total number of respondents who received salary increments (52% in 2023 compared to 47% in 2022), this year’s satisfaction levels scored lower than in 2022 – down to 37% in 2023 compared to 50% in 2022. RGF’s data suggests that the gap between employers’ and talent’s compensation expectations might explain the numbers.
While 77% of employers plan to increase salaries in the next six to 12 months, the average increases will fall short of employees’ expectations. While most employees expect a 28% salary increase when switching jobs, employers only consider 19% reasonable. Managing Director of RGF Professional Recruitment Singapore, Mike Wilkshire, says: “To set the right expectations, managers must understand and analyse what talent in Singapore is thinking, such as their sentiments, priorities, and motivations, before making crucial hiring and retention decisions.”
Jobseeker’s top priorities
As the Covid-19 effects wane, professional talents in Singapore are out to find new opportunities. According to RGF’s current database, there is a significant increase in the number of candidates (62%) compared to last year. The Talent in Asia 2023- Singapore report reveals some factors that drive more people to look for jobs, such as:
- Salary or benefits package – 55% cited salary & compensation as their top reason for a job shift across the talent segments,
- Opportunities for career progression (44%),
- Management style and company culture (37%).
Hybrid arrangement is on the rise
With worldwide lockdowns and restrictions, most companies shifted to remote work during the pandemic – Singapore was no exception. The report shows that work-life balance satisfaction rises, with 80% of employees reporting increased productivity due to hybrid work and 63% agreeing it is the most flexible working option. From the employer’s perspective, 85% found this to be accurate, with the following industries preferring hybrid work:
- Tech, media & telecommunications,
- Consumer goods, retail & hospitality,
- Healthcare & life sciences.
Data driven recommendations
To successfully navigate the labour market, the report also shares strategic recommendations for talents and employers. “Professional candidates need to continuously upskill to stay competitive, while employers can tap into Senior-level talent, who are most actively pursuing new opportunities based on our survey,” added Wilkshire.