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Competitive job market

8 in 10 Singapore employers finding hiring ‘very’ or ‘quite’ competitive

80% of Singaporean organizations are facing fierce competition in the job market, with 39% struggling to hire due to challenges in matching salaries and benefits.

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44% anticipate the shortage of skilled candidates will pose a significant recruitment challenge.
60% of professionals in Singapore are optimistic about receiving a salary increase.
The desire for a ‘higher salary’ remains the most compelling reason to consider a job change.

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Navigating Singapore’s competitive job landscape in 2023

According to a recent survey, a significant 80% of organisations in Singapore are grappling with intense competition in the job market for the year 2023. In the last six months, 39% of these entities have experienced setbacks in hiring due to their inability to match competitors in terms of salaries and benefits. Additionally, 44% anticipate that the shortage of skilled candidates will pose a significant recruitment challenge in 2024.

Despite these challenges, the survey, conducted by talent services company Morgan McKinley, reveals that 43% of Singaporean businesses still have intentions to hire within the next six months. Gurj Sandhu, the Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Singapore, attributes this dynamic to the evolving global market conditions. After enjoying two years of double-digit GDP growth, businesses are now cautiously managing their hiring strategies and budgets.

Sandhu notes, “Despite the noticeable slowdown in hiring compared to the post-pandemic peak in Singapore, the pursuit of top talent continues, albeit with difficulties. Factors such as jobseeker hesitation, a widening skills gap due to international talent departures from the region, and lengthier hiring processes have collectively contributed to these challenges.”

On the other side of the equation, the survey reveals that 41% of professionals in Singapore are actively planning to seek new job opportunities in the coming six months. This may be attributed to the dissatisfaction of many Singaporean workers with their existing employment packages, with 63% expressing neutrality or dissatisfaction with their current benefits.

A widening skills gap due to international talent departures from the region, and lengthier hiring processes have collectively contributed to these challenges.

The Morgan McKinley salary guide highlights the top five desired benefits that Singaporean workers seek in a job, including bonuses, the option to work from home, flexible working hours, support for health and well-being, and health insurance. The desire for a ‘higher salary’ remains the most compelling reason to consider a job change, with 43% of respondents indicating this as their primary motivation, followed by ‘career growth and development opportunities’ at 14%.

Moreover, the survey suggests that 60% of professionals in Singapore are optimistic about receiving a salary increase in 2024, while 72% of employers plan to offer higher salaries for certain in-demand roles during the same year.

Gurj Sandhu underscores the importance of employee engagement and understanding individuals’ career aspirations, especially in a challenging job market where workloads may be increasing and headcounts decreasing.

The survey, which involved research from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals, aimed to shed light on companies’ hiring intentions for 2024, the key drivers for job changes, and expectations regarding salary adjustments.

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