Singapore employers plagued by skill shortages

by HRD27 Feb 2017
About 96% of employers in Singapore are still struggling to find the skilled individuals they need, a survey by recruitment consultancy firm Hays said.

The firm’s 2017 Asia Salary Guide also found that 71% of workers in Singapore plan to switch jobs this year for improved salary or benefit packages. 

“The ability to attract and retain the best talent always provides a company with a competitive advantage, but in 2017 with skill shortages persisting and significant changes and challenges on the horizon, it is more important than ever,” said Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.

Results showed disconnect between employers and workers on salary expectation. Some 11% of employers will award more than 6% increases, whereas 34% of candidates surveyed in Singapore are expecting more than 6%.

On average, most employers in Singapore plan to award salary increases from between 3% to 6%. “While employees’ salary expectations are fairly modest in Singapore, tensions could arise if salaries for new hires move up too fast,” said Wright.

Singapore’s workforce was found to be the most culturally diverse, with foreign employees comprising 21% of the workforce. However, this represented a 7% drop from the previous year.

Over the last year, 36% of employers in Singapore increased permanent staffing levels, nearly a quarter (23%) decreased permanent headcount, and 41% kept permanent staffing levels unchanged. Just over half of Singaporean employers (51 %) used temporary staffing.

This year, 32% of employers expect to increase permanent headcount, 15% plan to decrease permanent staff levels, and a little over half (53%) expect levels to remain unchanged.

Results for the Asia salary guide were drawn from over 3,000 employers across the region, representing some 6 million employees. “We expect 2017 to be a time of challenge for many employers as they navigate changing economic conditions linked to evolving trade partnerships regionally and globally.”


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