Employee engagement, resignation, recruitment, talent challenges

While 67% of professionals are looking to move between jobs in the coming year, 80% would consider not resigning if conditions are right.

By now, it is no surprise that talent retention has become a significant issue for the working world. But there may be a silver lining yet.

Among Southeast Asia (SEA) respondents polled, Singapore recorded the highest number of professionals who are unlikely to leave their current jobs without another role lined up — 64% of professionals surveyed are not comfortable leaving their current job without another job lined up. According to Robert Walters' latest survey, 'A Not-so-Great” Resignation', talent in Singapore seems more focused on switching jobs as opposed to outright resignations.

While four in five (80%) professionals surveyed in Singapore have been thinking of resigning/changing jobs in the past year, the reality is that only 36% of them have not actually resigned within the past year.

Affirming the previous sentiments, the number one reason respondents cited for not following through on intentions to resign was that they haven’t found the most suitable job (50%) . This was followed by uncertainty about new workplace’s culture, environment, suitability (29%), and concern about job security at new company (28%). 

At the same time, many professionals have also reassessed their work-life priorities, with 87% of professionals having rethought/relooked at their relationship to work in the past year. 

Specifically, the top factors that employees have reassessed were as follows:

  1. Mental & physical wellbeing (73%)
  2. Time spent with family/friends (69%)
  3. Meaning/empowerment/fulfilment of their jobs/careers (67%)

In tandem, professionals have also indicated what they value the most in an employer today. Most respondents are seeking colleagues and culture that inspire employees to do their best (48%), and excellent compensation and benefits (47%). Another two in five (42%) seek flexible work arrangements.

These results come in as a majority of businesses in Singapore grappled with increased employee turnover over the past year. In fact, 78% of companies surveyed say employee turnover/resignations in their organisations have increased in the past year.

Further, 86% of companies think it has been more difficult to hire new talent into their companies over the same period. This is largely due to professionals asking for overly high salaries and benefits, which posed as the number one challenge faced when sourcing staff (86%). 

Other significant challenges in sourcing talent include high competition for candidates (counter-offers and buy-backs) (45%), and candidates lacking industry experience (42%).

In the face of such trends, companies in Singapore have offered their employees greater work flexibility, increased pay, and more training opportunities. However, only 30% of employees surveyed have seen companies offer greater flexibility/remote/hybrid work arrangements.

In fact, most of the respondents have indicated that they are seeing ‘no changes as far as they are aware’ when it comes to their companies’ efforts (45%). Meanwhile, 27% indicated that they have seen companies match/increase salaries.

From an employer's perspective, employers surveyed have said they have taken the following measures to better retain employees:

  1. Offer greater flexibility/ remote/hybrid work arrangements (64%)
  2. Match/increase salaries (54%)
  3. Provide opportunities for training and upskilling (49%)

With all of this said, 67% of professionals are looking to move between jobs in the coming year. However, 80% of talent would consider changing their minds and not resigning, if conditions are right. So, what would make professionals change their mind and not resign?

Most respondents have indicated that a salary increment (45%) would make them change their mind and stick around. This was then followed by a promotion (28%) and changed job scope, remits, responsibilities (25%).


Image /  Robert Walters' "A Not-so-Great” Resignation"

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