28 December 2017

Singapore employees want career prospects and a good work environment

Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. The attributes of an Employer of Choice.
Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. The attributes of an Employer of Choice.

According to the Employer of Choice Survey* 2017 by CareerBuilder Singapore, it takes more than the common strategy of offering a good salary to attract and retain talent. The survey found that employees in Singapore rank good career growth and a non-discriminatory work environment above monetary compensation as top deciding factors for their ideal employer. 

Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. What an ideal job looks like.
Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. What an ideal job looks like.

Respondents valued the ability to learn and grow in a job and a conducive and pleasant environment, with attractive pay, bonuses and monetary compensation only coming in as the third most important factor. Other key factors being considered include job security, a comfortable physical work environment, and good employee benefits.

Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. Why people switch jobs.
Source: CareerBuilder Singapore. Why people switch jobs.

When it comes to switching jobs, almost two in three respondents cited a “lack of career growth opportunities” as the top reason to do so. This is significantly higher than other reasons such as an unfriendly work culture and unhappiness with their bosses.

Pull factors that encourage potential employees to view a job as ideal are likewise rarely related to money alone. Good relationships with colleagues and bosses, as well as a respectful work culture that offers work-life balance and advancement opportunities are other important attributes in an ideal job.

While employees generally prefer working in the public sector over the private sector, there is a growing trend for startups to be seen as highly attractive employers. The survey this year showed close to 59% (an almost 10% rise compared to last year) in those stating that they would be interested and willing to work in a startup. The top reasons cited were that startups provide “lots of learning opportunities” (84.8%), opportunities to work closely with a group of passionate and enthusiastic colleagues” (66.4%), along with an “exposure to a wide spectrum of job roles” that employees might not necessarily be exposed to in larger or more established companies.

The top five startup employers of choice were Carousell, then Redmart, Uber, Honestbee and Ninja Van.

“The Employer of Choice Survey 2017 results offer interesting insights to how any company, big or small, can stand out, draw and retain talent. Contrary to the common belief that job-seekers only want money, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups too can have a fair chance at securing good employees with an informed understanding of what matters most to job-seekers,” said Sam Ng, MD, CareerBuilder Singapore.

Other survey findings include:

· Tech companies are seen as highly preferred employers. Out of the top 10 employers listed in the private sector Employers of Choice category, five were tech companies. For three consecutive years, tech giant Google has been seen as the most preferred Employer of Choice in the private sector. Apple ranks No. 2, followed by Singapore Airlines, the Changi Airport Group and 3M for private employers of choice. Other tech companies which were ranked favourably include Microsoft and Facebook.

In the public sector, the top five Employers of Choice were, in order of preference, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Central Provident Fund Board and the Ministry of Education.

The SME list included music, lifestyle and experience specialist Timbre Group in first place, followed by Zouk Management, WTS Travel & Tours, Garena Online and Jumbo Seafood.

· Passion is top priority: the majority of job-seekers chose to enter a specific industry due to their keen interest in the line of work, followed by the industry’s relevance to what they studied in school. Among the various industries, the banking/finance/investment industry (21%), as well as the government/civil service/military industry (19.6%) and the healthcare/medical industry (17.9%) were the most preferred industries to work in. The results show that job-seekers seem to follow their passion when it comes to choosing a job.

· Fresh graduates expect promotions fast, along with work-life balance. Among fresh graduates who were polled, one in two (53%) expect their first promotion within two years of being employed in a company. Close to one in three fresh graduates also expect to be promoted to a managerial role by the third year of their employment. However, the survey also found that despite the huge desire to climb the corporate ladder, most of the fresh graduates polled (68.5%) were only willing to put in the standard hours at work, which suggests that they value work-life balance quite significantly.

· Employees seek jobs online, as opposed to the traditional newspaper classified advertisements. Respondents continue to rely heavily on online resources and word of mouth to find jobs. Online job portals (45.5%) were the most commonly used channel, followed by ads, banners, emails, features and news on the Internet (33.5%), connections through family and friends (26.7%), and social media (25.3%).

*The Employer of Choice Survey 2017 was conducted between May to September 2017 among close to 3,000 working adults as well as tertiary undergraduates, aged 16 years and above.