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Recruitment activity to hold steady as moderate salary increases awarded

Key survey findings: (Source: 2014 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast, Singapore)

  • 54% of surveyed employers expect hiring activity to be constant while 34% expect it to be either stronger or slightly stronger.
  • The majority of respondents (70%) expect average salaries to increase by 1-5%.
  • Over the next 12 months 48% of surveyed employers expect professional skill shortages, a 6% increase from 2013.
  • More than half of the surveyed respondents (53%) expect staff turnover in the next 12 months, down 3% from 2013.

3 April 2014: The majority of employers in Singapore are expected to continue hiring steadily during 2014 and, while skill shortages and staff turnover are likely to persist, salary increases will remain conservative.

According to the 2014 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast for Singapore, 88% of employers surveyed expect hiring activity to hold steady or improve in 2014, painting an optimistic forecast for Singapore’s employment market in the coming 12 months. However, persisting issues for employers will be skill shortages, according to 48% of survey respondents, and staff turnover, expected by 53%.

“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,” says Mr. Jerome Bouin, Managing Director, PageGroup Singapore. “This approach, coupled with effective retention strategies will be key to addressing staff turnover and the shortage of talent over the coming year.”

Remuneration continues to remain as an important incentive for employees and this is reflected in the survey results. The vast majority of employers surveyed (70%) indicate that they plan to increase average salaries by 1-5%, in line with and taking into consideration inflation rates and market adjustments. Additionally, 23% of respondents also indicated possible higher increases of up to 6-10%. Global and domestic economic conditions are the main factors likely to impact salary levels in the next 12 months, according to 56% and 52% 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%), team building/offsite activities (46%) and increased maternity/paternity leave (24%).