Over 78% will consider switching jobs if their pay rise is lower than inflation rate: Survey

The findings by recruitment agency Robert Walters show that companies continue to face a shortage of talent. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - More than 78 per cent of employees in Singapore will consider changing jobs in 2023 if their pay increment is lower than the inflation rate, according to a survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters.

The rising cost of living and concerns about a possible recession will spur many employees to request a raise, and to expect employers to factor this in.

However, some may not do so because they lack negotiation skills or fear that such a request could affect their job security, the firm said on Friday.

Core inflation, which excludes costs of private transport and accommodation, and reflects the expenses of Singapore households more accurately, stood at 5.1 per cent in October. Headline consumer price index (CPI), or overall inflation, came in at 6.7 per cent, led by an easing in private transportation inflation.

The findings of Robert Walters’ global salary survey 2023 also show that firms still face a shortage of talent, especially in managerial and senior-level positions, causing them to likely double their efforts in staff-retention initiatives.

Talent moving between jobs can also expect a salary increase of 15 per cent to 20 per cent in 2023.

The firm polled 316 candidates and 105 companies in Singapore in September on their main expectations or concerns regarding salaries, career changes and staff retention in 2023.

In the long term, companies are also looking into developing a more inclusive hiring strategy, such as by broadening workplace policies and perks to be more inclusive, and reassessing the wording of job specifications.

Mr Monty Sujanani, country manager at Robert Walters Singapore, said: “For many candidates, money is no longer the only factor when they make career decisions. We have observed that when employees feel burnt out, or bored because they are not learning any more, this compels them to look for other opportunities.”

As employees need to feel they can deliver impact through their work, employers should create channels where employees can voice their ideas and concerns, and help them to keep growing, Mr Sujanani added.

In 2022, hiring appetite has primarily grown in the tech and healthcare industries.

In 2023, professionals with tech skill sets will continue to be in demand across a range of industries in both commercial and business function roles.

Additionally, environmental, social and corporate governance talent, as well as human resource professionals with experience in staff retention will also be sought after.

Finance, marketing and advertising will require talent who can use predictive data and analytical skill sets to help businesses make informed decisions, the poll noted.

In addition to their technical skill sets, professionals who have soft skills such as resilience, adaptability, agility and an eagerness to learn will gain a competitive advantage. 

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