High poaching rate in S'pore: Survey

Firms in Singapore are more likely to have a staff member jump ship due to a higher pay offer from another company, according to a new survey.

It found that 79 per cent of businesses based in Singapore have lost a "good employee" to a better-paying company over the last 12 months.

Large firms - those with a headcount above 500 - were more affected, with 84 per cent saying they had lost a good employee to a more lucrative deal, while 78 per cent of small firms - fewer than 250 employees - had workers poached.

Mid-sized firms - between 250 and 500 employees - were slightly less affected, with 74 per cent of those surveyed saying they had lost one staff member.

In the "tight labour market", the number of companies seeking to entice talented workers by offering more pay has increased, said Ms Stella Tang, Singapore managing director at recruitment firm Robert Half, which commissioned the survey. She added that it is usually senior professionals that "bring experience, a track record of success and, potentially, even business with them" who are targeted. This often entails dangling an attractive offer.

"The amount of extra money they earn is usually around 5 to 10 per cent more, but we have seen cases where candidates have been offered 20 per cent above their current salary to jump to another company," she said.

Robert Half surveyed 2,425 chief financial officers and finance directors from 16 countries, including 150 from Singapore.

While firms based here had the highest rate of staff being poached, China was close behind, with 71 per cent saying they had lost an employee to better-paying offers in the past year. The United Arab Emirates was next on 65 per cent and then Japan at 65 per cent.

Globally, 52 per cent of firms reported losing a good employee to a better offer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'High poaching rate in S'pore: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe