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Salary, benefits most important to job seekers in Singapore: Survey

Research done by global recruiting firm Hays also shows that work-life balance is key to retaining employees in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: A survey by global recruiting firm Hays released on Sunday (Feb 21) revealed that 43 per cent of job hunters in the Republic are most motivated by salary and benefits while 60 per cent view work-life balance as key to staying in a job.

According to the annual 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide - which studies more than 3,000 employers and about 6 million employees across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore - 37 per cent of those polled in Singapore are currently looking for a new job, with a further 48 per cent "open to hearing about fresh opportunities". About 30 per cent want to be in a new role within the next six months, while a further 22 per cent expect to change jobs within the year.

Managing Director of Hays in Singapore Lynne Roeder said: "With over a third of the workforce thinking about a move, employers need to pay close attention to what pushes an employee to start looking for a new job as well as their motivations for staying in the job they have."

According to the survey, the top motivator for job hunting in Singapore is salary or benefits (43 per cent), followed by lack of career progression in their current role (36 per cent), seeking new challenges (36 per cent), management style or company culture (29 per cent), lack of training or development opportunities (21 per cent), concerns about job security (17 per cent), work location (11 per cent) and poor work-life balance (10 per cent).

Meanwhile, the key retention factor for employees here is work-life balance (60 per cent), followed by salary or benefits package (40 per cent), work location (37 per cent), career progression (31 per cent), management style and company culture (30 per cent), training or development opportunities (29 per cent), job security (26 per cent) and new challenges (23 per cent).

Work-life balance is similarly the most important factor in China and Hong Kong, while career progression is key in Japan and salary ranks as most vital in Malaysia.


Hays added that 66 per cent of candidates in Singapore surveyed did not ask for a pay rise in the last 12 months, while 32 per cent expect a salary increase of more than 6 per cent. However, this is an increase that only 18 per cent of employers in Singapore will entertain. 

“Employers with modest salary intentions this year will need to pay close attention to the other key benefits candidates and employees value most highly to ensure they can attract and retain the best talent in the year ahead,” said Ms Roeder.