Colin Ng & Partners employment lawyer Pradeep K Singh told HRD Singapore that, while the job market is tight, the economy in general is not doing that well, meaning less emphasis on financial incentives.
“There are areas of the economy where companies are not very profitable, or profits are not growing at the rate they want to,” he said.
Singh said the result is that companies and HR teams are looking at other ways they can develop their approach to attract and retain staff.
“Some of our clients, instead of looking at financial incentives, are looking at what else they can do to build a team within their firms and companies who will want to support their growth efforts.”
Singh said this included work on improving work life balance for existing staff, as well as building a more ‘inclusive’ workforce.
“Companies are looking at other sources of manpower, whether that is working mothers or retirees,” Singh said.
“A lot more companies are re-employing older workers. It may be that people who have reached retirement age don’t necessarily retire, and are re-employed, perhaps on different terms.”
Singh said lawyers were assisting on developing employment policies.
“Companies are asking what kind of policies or steps they can take to try and retain their workforce,” he said.
He gave the example of a focus on education and skills training, which was being looked at more closely as companies seek to attract staff.
“Financially, I don’t see that much of a change this year,” he said.
“But I think what we will see is more people looking closely at where the potential employees are, and what kind of policies and benefits they can put in place to attract and keep them,” he said.
Financial incentives will remain relatively flat this year, with a moribund economy forcing more focus on creative ways to retain staff.