Salaries in Singapore going nowhere in 2016

The 2016 report on salaries in Singapore, prepared by Hays, shows that:

  • 47% of employers in Singapore plan salary increases of three to six percent in 2016.
  • The remaining 28 percent plan salary increases only up to three percent.

Increased salaries and benefits in Singapore greatly motivates employees to begin looking for a new job.

However, this year, people looking for new jobs should look beyond the salary increase (which is expected to be small) and focus on professional development instead.

“To make the best of these conditions, candidates should do their research thoroughly before pitching for salary and give more weight to other benefits, such as career development opportunities, that will pay off when the salary climate is more favorable to candidates,” says Christine Wright, the Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

The Salary Guide indicates that 11 percent of employers in Singapore plan to increase salaries by six to 10 percent in 2016. Only seven percent plan increases above 10 percent. Seven percent do not plan any increases at all.

“We will see some tension this year between employers taking a cautious approach to salaries to help navigate economic conditions in the region more generally and candidates hungry for advancement,” says Wright.

Looking at some other countries in the Asian region:

  • China leads the next review period with 60 percent of employers planning to increase salaries by six to 10 percent.
  • In Japan, 63 percent plan on salaries increases, but only up to three percent.
  • The majority of employers in Hong Kong, and Malaysia plan salary increases of between three and six percent.
  • Sixty-three percent of employers intend on awarding staff bonuses in 2016.
  • Only 10 percent of employers guarantee bonuses to their employees, but the value of the bonuses differ from employer to employer. Thirty-three percent of employers will award up to 10 percent of staff salary as a bonus, and 44 percent of employers plan to award 11 to 50 percent of salary as a bonus.
  • 84 percent of employers will include staff benefits in addition to salaries and bonuses. The most commonly offered benefit is medical coverage, followed by life insurance, car allowances, and pensions.

Higher salary and a better benefits package is the main reason that most people in Singapore begin the hunt for a new job.

Of the people in Singapore, 60 percent say that a balance between work and life is what keeps them with a current employer. If a job keeps them from their life outside of work, they will be inclined not to stay.

Singapore’s workforce is very culturally diverse, with 28 percent of roles held by foreign employees. 18 percent of employees in Hong Kong are foreign, and 15 percent are foreign in Malaysia. The numbers are even lower in Japan (9%) and Chine (8%).

Although Singapore leads in cultural diversity, it lags in promoting women into management.

Only 27 percent of management roles in Singapore are held by women compared to 37 percent in Malaysia, 32 percent in China, and 28 percent in Hong Kong. In Japan, women hold only 19 percent of management roles.

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