3 things to know about Singapore's under-34 employees

3 things to know about Singapore's under-34 employees

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ManpowerGroup commissioned Reputation Leaders for a global study of 19,000 working Millennials (i.e. aged 20-34 years) and 1,500 hiring managers across 25 countries, including in Singapore.

With a view to understand what Generation Y wants now and in the future, the survey unearthed the following key findings:

1. Millennials' top career priority is to make a lot of money (31%)

Just 17% of Singapore's Millennials rank aspiring to leadership roles as a top career priority: managing others (3%), getting to the top of the firm (6%) and owning my own company (9%).

All three factors ranked at the bottom of Millennials’ list of career priorities in almost every country except Mexico where “owning my own company” was at the top of the list (31%).

Manspower report on Singapore's Millennials


2. Men aspire to leadership roles more than women.

Just over one in five (21%) of male Millennials in Singapore consider reaching leadership roles to be a higher career priority than women. Singapore and Switzerland (9%), as well as the US (10%), have the largest gender gap in this response.

France is the only country where men and women aspire to leadership roles equally.

Manpower report on Millennials


3. Under-34s want to develop individual skills over people/leadership skills.

Four out of five (82%) Millennials in Singapore would change jobs for a role with the same pay and more skills training opportunities. However, 64% choose to develop their technical, personal or IT/technology skills in the next year. Just 36% want to improve people management or leadership skills.

Manpower report on Millennials


Human Resources interviewed Linda Teo, country manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore, to analyse some of the top findings:

Q. Seems paradoxical that Millennials prioritise making money (31%), yet are reluctant to get to the top of the hierarchy (5%) or manage others (3%) - typically associated with higher paid roles. Are Millennials' expectations of their employers are unreasonable?

As the survey results show, Millennials want to improve on their individual skills. While higher pay is generally associated with leadership roles, Millennials strive to be experts in their respective fields, and as a result, get rewarded for it. They could potentially secure higher compensation with their expertise.

Furthermore, organisations are encouraging more collaboration and this is where expertise or subject matter experts come in. However, while there is a need to have depth of knowledge in their respective fields, Singapore Millennials should not ignore people skills as well.

2. In France an equal number of both genders aspire to leadership roles - in Singapore, there is a gap of 9% with male employees dominating at 21%. Does this gap have something to do with the working culture in Europe versus Asia?

While there has been some progress where women holding leadership positions is concerned, it is still a man’s world in Singapore’s world of work. Traditional gender roles are still entrenched in Singapore’s society.

We need more female role models to show Millennials that it is possible for women to hold leadership positions or helm an organisation. Essentially, this requires a shift in mindset which will take time.

Q. In your experience, are employers in Singapore ably equipped to develop individual skills over managerial/people skills? Or will a programme like SkillsFuture be better suited for this?

Some companies are forerunners of their respective industries, and would have the resources and know-how to ensure their workforce is adequately trained and equipped with technical skills. However, for smaller companies that do not have access to the latest industry trends, SkillsFuture presents a good platform to develop their staff in both individual and people skills.

Lead photo / 123RF, Infographics / ManpowerGroup Singapore

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