The 2014 Michael Page Salary and Employment Forecast for Singapore has found 88 per cent of employers surveyed expect hiring activity to hold steady or improve this year. However, while the Forecast offers an optimistic forecast for Singapore’s employment market, persisting issues for employers will be skill shortages –according to 48 per cent of survey respondents – and staff turnover, expected by 53 per cent.
Jerome Bouin, Managing Director, PageGroup Singapore comments: “While Singapore’s employment market will continue to be active during 2014, employers are generally adopting a more considered approach with tighter controls around the recruitment process to make sure professionals are the right fit for their organisation. This approach, coupled with effective retention strategies will be key to addressing staff turnover and the shortage of talent over the coming year.”
The survey has also found remuneration continuing to remain as an important incentive for employees. The vast majority of employers surveyed (70 per cent) indicate that they plan to increase average salaries by one to five per cent, in line with and taking into consideration inflation rates and market adjustments. Additionally, 23 per cent of respondents also indicated possible higher increases of up to 6-10 per cent. Global and domestic economic conditions are the main factors likely to impact salary levels in the next 12 months, according to 56 per cent and 52 per cent of surveyed employers respectively.
“Singapore continues to enjoy the influx of companies looking to establish themselves regionally and this is expected to sustain the demand for skilled professionals,” says Mr Bouin. “This demand is expected to see organisations lean towards hiring local talent as tighter local regulations make it harder to employ foreign professionals. As a result, attraction and retention strategies including offering employee benefits will take greater prominence.”
According to the survey findings, work-life balance options and employee benefits will be offered by some employers this year to secure staff. Top options offered by survey respondents to support work life balance include flexible working arrangements (63 per cent), team building/offsite activities (46 per cent) and increased maternity/paternity leave (24 per cent).