Learning & Development Asia 2024 Singapore
Concerns & priorities of Singapore's future talent pool

Concerns & priorities of Singapore's future talent pool

Students surveyed noted rising concerns around remote work arrangements, as well as increasingly prioritise job security and a friendly workplace environment.

Students surveyed in Singapore recently have revealed rising concerns about remote work, as well as their top priorities for their future careers, according to Universum's annual global talent survey released on 27 June 2023 (Tuesday).

The study surveyed more than 10,000 students across six universities and reveals trends in future employee expectations as well as rankings of the most attractive employers based purely on responses from the survey. As a whole, their top three priorities include work-life balance, high future earnings, and a friendly work environment.

While job security was also a key priority – ranking 4th out of the 40 different attributes measured, findings revealed that 46% of respondents do not plan to stay with their first employer for more than two years, as only 9% of graduates believe it is best to stay with their first employer in the long-term. This indicates low levels of trust and loyalty seen between employers and employees, which seems to be a causative factor in the above-average levels of attrition observed in most industries currently, the research highlighted. It also noted that the heightened level of churn is expected to be persistent.

Mike Parsons, Managing Director of APAC, Universum, explained: "We know that talent can be demanding, in general, and that things are no different here in Singapore. What is interesting, however, is just how highly young local talent prioritise work-life balance in this market, possibly as a symptom of living in such a career-focused country that so highly prizes academic and career achievement.

"A standout characteristic of Singapore's young professional workforce is how pragmatic and forward-thinking they are."

Over the years, he added, this group has been prioritising factors such as growth, development, career path, and future earnings over more immediate factors such as base salary and benefits, even in times of inflation.

More young talent are preferring remote work options, higher annual salaries

The above aside, the survey also found that the demand for remote working opportunities upon graduation has increased, with 73% of respondents indicating a preference for remote work opportunities this year, compared to 69% last year. That said, data also showed that concerns around remote working are also on the rise. In 2023, 49% of respondents voiced concern over the impact remote work would have on building social connections with colleagues, in comparison to 46% in the previous year.

Additionally, feelings of employer bias for in-person employees have increased from 39% in 2022 to 45% in 2023.

Regarding salary expectations, findings report that students in Singapore expect a 4% higher annual salary for their first full-time job. On average, an annual salary of S$50,388 was expected last year while this year, the figure has risen to S$52,457. The gap in expectations between genders remains at 13%, it was added, with expected salaries of men at S$56,978 and women at S$49,624.

Finally, the report showcased another key trend when it came to industries-of-choice for young talent. In particular, it revealed a steady rise in popularity for the banking sector, amongst the in-demand IT cohort, and as the top industry choice for business talent. Meanwhile, aerospace & defence was the top choice for engineering students.

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Lead image / Shutterstock

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