Bonuses a mixed bag for finance professionals as confidence in job market sinks: Survey

The survey polled around 350 professionals in February and March. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Turmoil in financial markets amid the coronavirus pandemic seems to be hitting professionals in the sector hard with many set to miss out on their annual bonuses, according to a new survey.

It found that 33 per cent of the 350 or so professionals polled across the region said they will not get an extra payout this year.

But it is not bad news throughout the industry, with 53 per cent saying they will get a bonus for the year that is at least as high as last year.

The survey also found that while 60 per cent foresee a worsening economic situation in the 12 months ahead, they are still confident that their jobs will be safe over the next six months, noted recruitment agency Selby Jennings, which polled around 350 professionals - mostly mid- to senior- level - in February and March.

Around 88 per cent were from Singapore with the rest in various Asean countries, as well as in India and Bangladesh.

It noted that 42 per cent thought it was likely or very likely that they would get a pay rise over the next 12 months, while 38 per cent reckoned an increase was unlikely or very unlikely.

And 48 per cent were not confident that the employment situation would improve over the next year while only 26 per cent felt it would get better.

The respondents were divided on their views of the job market if they were to be laid off with 38 per cent saying they were confident they would find a new post while the same percentage believed they would struggle.

Ms Natasha Madhavan, team lead for governance and technology at Selby Jennings, said prospects for the job market are "conservative, but still moving forward".

"Companies are being more calculating and cautious, prioritising business-critical roles such as risk, governance, legal, sales, tech, cloud and cyber security. The recruitment process has slowed, but not been put on hold," she added.

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