The latest Randstad Employer Brand Research has revealed that employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia still have a high preference for salary and benefits when looking for an employer but work-life balance preference is now at an all-time high.
Hong Kong employees aged between 25 and 44 have now become the first demographic in all three countries to have placed work-life balance as their highest priority, surpassing salary preference for the first time.
A pleasant work environment is also now much less of a concern as the importance of job security has risen highlighting changing priorities of employees over the past year.
Work-life balance at an all-time high
Salary and benefits have long been the single most important factor for employees when looking at companies they would like to work for and this year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research results are no different. In Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, the importance of work-life balance has continued to rise to take the position of second most important attractiveness factor in all three markets.
The gap between salary and work-life balance has closed. In both Singapore and Hong Kong, salary and work-life balance were separated by just a few percentage points whereas in previous years the gap was as high as 16%. In Malaysia, the gap closed by 10% since the country’s inaugural Randstad Employer Brand Research report in 2016.
Hong Kong employees, aged 25 to 44, broke all previous records and set a new standard by placing work-life balance as the number one most attractive attribute over salary and benefits – in a country notorious for having long working hours. This is the first time any demographic has not placed salary and benefits at the number one attribute in Singapore, Hong Kong or Malaysia.
Peace of mind on the rise
Job security jumped in the rankings to become the third most important attractiveness factor in Singapore and Hong Kong, knocking down the highly sought after attribute of pleasant working atmosphere which dropped substantially in preference. This comes following global economic uncertainty and news of retrenchments throughout last year. Surprisingly, job security in Malaysia dropped 9% from last year when it came in as the third most attractive factor.
Confidence in management
While strong management has never been a top attractiveness factor, results this year have shown a jump in preference across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. In Malaysia, the jump in preference for strong management was high enough for it to tie in third place with career progression which was driven in particular by female employee sentiment.
Michael Smith, Managing Director, Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia noted, “It’s no secret that work-life balance has been of growing importance for employees around the world. However, the region has always had a much higher importance placed on salary and benefits. This year is the first time that we are noticing such a major shift in sentiment, so much so that Hong Kong employees aged 25 to 44 preferred work-life balance over salary and benefits. This once again highlights the extreme importance of keeping the dialogue between organizations and employees open, honest and frequent.”
“Job security has also made a big jump in preference in Singapore and Hong Kong, undoubtedly caused from last year’s economic uncertainty and retrenchments. However, global Q1 GDP growth showcased that the worst seems to be over with moderate improvement and in this region, China’s GDP expanded 6.9% year-on-year. This could very possible lower the preference for job security as confidence grows in the economy,” added Smith.
“The results of the Randstad Employer Brand Research are a timely reminder for businesses to remain vigilant and always monitor and manage their employer brands to attract and retain the best talent in an environment where preferences evolve at a rapid pace,” said Smith.
The Randstad Employer Brand Award, previously known as the Randstad Awards, is presented each year to the most attractive employer in 26 countries across the globe. It is based on the outcome of one of the world’s most representative and inclusive research into employer branding, covering over 160,000 global respondents. The 75 largest companies are selected in each participating country, usually with more than 1,000 employees. This list is presented to a representative cross section of relevant respondents based on region, age, education and gender. In Singapore and Hong Kong, over 5,000 employees and job-seekers between the ages of 18-65 were surveyed. In Malaysia, over 4,500 were surveyed.
If you are keen to learn more about the local employer branding landscape from our latest research, do download the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2017 Singapore report.
About Randstad Employer Brand Research
Celebrating its 17th edition globally, the Randstad Employer Brand Research Award is presented each year to the most attractive employer in 26 countries across the globe. It is based on the outcome of the most representative and inclusive employer branding research in the world.
The outcome of the Employer Brand Award is based on public perception and focuses on three main areas: overall brand awareness, absolute attractiveness and relative attractiveness. This creates a level playing field for all competing companies instead of giving an advantage to large multinationals with higher name recognition than smaller companies. This award is not open for nomination and the results are based solely on the opinions and votes of the local workforce – making it the only award that is truly representing the people’s choice.
The 75 largest companies are selected in each participating country, usually with more than 1,000 employees. This list is presented to a representative cross section of relevant respondents based on region, age and gender. Respondents were asked to identify companies they recognise and indicate if they would like to work for them. This is then followed up with an evaluation of attractiveness factors, such as salary, benefits, work atmosphere and job content, for each of the companies.
The Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to Inhouse Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions (including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement). By combining our human touch with technology-driven solutions and tools, we aim to offer both clients and candidates the best tools and solutions for increased efficiency and engagement, connecting more people to more jobs. Randstad has top-three positions in Argentina, Belgium and Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States, and major positions in Australia and Japan. At year-end 2016, Randstad had 36,524 corporate employees and 4,752 branches and Inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. In 2016, Randstad generated revenue of €20.7 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see www.randstad.com.sg.