Stability will remain a priority for many employees and organisations in 2024.

Workers in Singapore remain reluctant to switch jobs in 2024, at least for the first half of the year as they focus on securing their jobs to manage potentially higher expenditures. According to our 2023 Workmonitor research in Singapore, 48% of respondents are afraid of losing their jobs – an alarming statistic that sheds light on the sentiments in the job market.

At the same time, companies are recalibrating and restructuring to optimise existing resources, including their workforce. With the pressure to innovate, transform and optimise, hiring would only be even more challenging in 2024.

Organisations are looking to hire skilled and experienced talent capable of delivering results immediately while maintaining cost. Prolonging the hiring process not only slows progress, but it also puts a strain on the existing workforce as they push themselves to deliver consistent, if not, better results than the previous year.

job market and salary trends in singapore
job market and salary trends in singapore

Discover key insights in Randstad Singapore’s 2024 Job Market Outlook and Salary Trends Report for a deep dive into the key labour trends and employer insights on salaries, bonuses, hiring trends and talent expectation in Singapore’s key industries. Download the full report to improve your talent attraction and workforce strategy in 2024.

skills are employer’s top priority

Organisational and job restructuring spurred by digital transformation has altered the roles and responsibilities of the jobs that we are familiar with. At the same time, new jobs are being created from emerging industries like sustainability, blockchain and artificial intelligence technology.

This transformation underscores the importance of continuous learning and skills development. As much as skills are top priority for many employers, job seekers are looking for the same too.

Our 2023 Employer Brand Research revealed that 1 in 3 respondents in Singapore cited better career growth opportunities as the primary reason for leaving their jobs, especially Millennials and Gen-Zers.

However, the importance of learning is often clouded by the ongoing debate on who should bear the responsibility for it. While it is generally agreed that both parties play an equal role, organisations must do more than merely offer training programmes if they want to attract and retain top talent in the market.

Organisations now have to drive and engage in meaningful conversations with their workforce to understand individual career aspirations and customise learning paths and growth opportunities. By making learning the core aspects of the jobs – even a key performance indicator for promotions – employers can cultivate a high-performance and highly-skilled workforce.

employers prioritise workforce skills
employers prioritise workforce skills

This approach towards people development not only strengthens the employer brand but it also aligns with the growing demand for personalised learning and development opportunities among today’s talent.

increase in salary expectations still met with resistance 

Starting salaries for fresh graduates are outpacing the broader wage landscape. The median monthly gross salary for fresh graduates in full-time jobs has risen from S$3,600 in pre-pandemic 2019 to S$4,200 in 2022 – a 16% increase in 4 years. While the starting salaries have accounted for inflation, cost of living and talent scarcity, the real wage of working adults in general have not yet kept pace with this growth.

Singapore Department of Statistics reported that, “median monthly household income from work grew by 6.1% in nominal terms, from S$9,520 in 2021 to S$10,099 last year. But after accounting for inflation, the gain translated to 0.2%.”

It is no wonder that many Singaporeans search for employers offering higher pay. Our research shows job seekers’ expectations on salary increase when switching employers to be between 10% and 25%, varying on industries and professions.

With the shifting social contract between employer and employee, organisations need to understand their position in communications and negotiations.

Employers who are willing to meet these salary expectations will attract a larger pool of candidates to choose from and secure top talent. In an already talent-scarce market, employers investing in their workforce next year demonstrate the certainty and confidence that many job seekers are looking for.

employers have the power to shift the talent contract market

With the uncertainties in the business and labour markets as we enter 2024, offering more contract work might interest employers. Contract jobs offer employers the flexibility to scale their workforce based on market supply and demand.

While there is a stronger preference for permanent job offers than contract roles among job seekers, particularly in academia, technology, finance and human resources, the evolving market landscape presents an opportunity to change perceptions. 

2024 offers a favourable climate for companies to change more traditional open employment contracts to contract roles for greater organisational flexibility. With more contracting roles available in the job market, talent may become more open to expand their options as a viable career option to develop and diversify their skill sets.

The salary and benefits package for contract workers should be as competitive, if not better than permanent roles if companies are looking to attract the right talent.

work flexibility still the foundation of work-life balance

While work-life balance is a big topic to tackle, the focus remains on flexible work arrangements. With many companies – globally and locally – asking their employees to return to the office, there is a certain level of dissatisfaction among the workforces.

Many job seekers are getting increasingly curious about an organisation’s commitment to flexible work initiatives and have a strong preference for employers that offer work-from-home options. Companies that practise work flexibility are more attractive to job seekers who want more autonomy at work.

work flexibility is work life balance
work flexibility is work life balance

When planning your workforce strategies, it’s important for business and HR leaders to re-evaluate the best work arrangements to retain your employees and attract new talent.

You can reach out to our consultants or download our ‘The Future of Work is Remote’ white paper to gain a deeper understanding around talent expectations on flexible work. 

download randstad singapore’s job market and salary trends 2024

While the job market and talent landscape may have evolved, our unwavering commitment to supporting you and your business resources remains unchanged.

Explore the dynamic insights and forward-thinking projections curated by our dedicated and experienced thought leaders in this 2024 Market Outlook report. We are here to guide you through the shifting market dynamics, so that you can continue to stay ahead in the ever-changing landscape in business.

The 2024 Randstad Talent and Salary Outlook report looks at talent analyses, key trends and new salary benchmarks in the following industries:

  • Banking and financial services
  • Life sciences
  • Technology

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If you’re a job seeker looking for better job prospects and career growth opportunities, start your career journey with us by applying to our latest jobs or submitting your CV to us.

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