Salaries for top talent in Singapore driven up

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67% of employers are having to offer higher than anticipated salaries to attract new employees, according to new research.

According to the research by global talent services company, Morgan McKinley, for its 2023 Salary Guide, 61% of employers have had to increase salaries to retain existing staff in the last year.

Furthermore, 75% of employers in Singapore think that salaries in their specific sector will rise in 2023, with a third (33%) planning on increasing base salaries across all teams, despite a sharp focus on costs.

Just over half (51%) of Singaporean employees are expecting their salaries to increase this year, with 65% also expecting some form of bonus.

64% of employees in Singapore are looking to move jobs in the first half of the year. 43% selected ‘higher salary’ as the primary reason for wanting to move, followed by ‘better career growth and development opportunities’ (18%).

Almost two thirds (65%) of businesses plan to hire new permanent or contract employees in the next six months.

Gurj Sandhu, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Singapore, commented: “Singapore’s hiring market was bullish throughout 2022 due to an appetite for growth. This came as the economy opened up post-COVID-19, and companies sought to meet pent up demand to hire.

“With a level of economic uncertainty impacting global markets, recruitment is likely to be more subdued this year, with companies and professionals focusing more on stability as opposed to growth. We anticipate that, as companies watch their headcount and costs, short-term contract hiring will be more prevalent – we are already seeing a rise of flexible and contract resources.”

“As a result, there will be a slight recalibration of salaries. Whilst professionals will receive an uplift when moving externally, the increases are broadly not likely to be as significant as they were in 2022. Attempts to retain staff via increments, alongside managing inflation, will also have an impact on the salaries of those not looking to move.”

Research from businesses and professionals was conducted to find out what companies’ hiring intentions are for 2023, whether there is an appetite to change jobs, and what the expectations are for movement on salaries.

Sandhu concluded: “As our recent survey found, a significant portion of employees in Singapore are looking to move jobs in the next six months to increase their earning potential. Employers need to ensure what they are offering is aligned to expectations, encompassing both salaries and benefits.

“This is even more crucial considering the skills shortage that remains across many industries. Top talent with specific or specialist technical skills will always be in demand, and 2023 will be no different in that regard.”