The current trends in compensation and benefits in Singapore

By Robert Half on 14 August 2023

The current trends in compensation and benefits in Singapore

  1. Keeping your finger on the pulse
  2. Singapore Hiring Trends
  3. Singapore Perks and Benefits
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

More than four in ten Singaporean employees (46%) are looking for new jobs. This is a sobering reality for employers, emphasising that attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for organisations to thrive.

According to a survey by data provider WTW, 85% of employees are more likely to remain with their organisations when their benefits package meets their needs. This insight offers some hope to employers, reaffirming that when balanced effectively, compensation and benefits could be the gateway to winning the war on talent.

Singapore is witnessing notable trends in compensation and benefits practices in 2023. This blog will explore the trends shaping the way employers attract skilled professionals and energise existing employees to leverage the power of people and accomplish greater goals.

Keeping your finger on the pulse

With LinkedIn citing that 93% of organisations are concerned about employee retention, it comes without saying that employers are desperate to sharpen their competitive edge. Facing a dynamic business landscape and shifting employee priorities, employers must equip themselves with the resources to stay abreast of trends in compensation and benefits so they can create an optimal employee experience.

The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide is a trusted employer resource combining extensive research, data and market observations. The prelude to smart salary discussions, the The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide offers comprehensive insights into: specialisation specific market salaries, hiring trends, perks and benefits trends, corporate culture and flexible work arrangements. This information is fundamental in understanding how your organisation and your offerings fit within the context of the wider market so that you can optimise talent retention and acquisition strategies.

While your workforce can be a primary vehicle for business growth, it can also be a huge obstacle if your employees are not satisfied. Therefore, it is pivotal that you as the employer identify and prioritise employee needs and expectations so that you can shape your compensation and benefits in a way that leaves them feeling understood, valued and supported.

Singapore Hiring Trends

The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide paints a positive picture of the post pandemic landscape, with 52% of employers saying that hiring plans are back to pre-pandemic levels.

As one of the most prosperous economies in Southeast Asia, Singapore offers a vibrant job market with diverse opportunities across industries. Despite fears of a potential 2023 recession, Singapore businesses are in a growth mindset which has seen steady salary growth across various sectors.

Singapore’s ongoing digital transformation has seen an influx of new opportunities as businesses attempt to improve operations and better serve their customers. In demand industries such as technology, finance and engineering, have witnessed higher salary growth rates and premium packages off the back of growing demand for specialised skills and expertise.

Read More: 6 interesting reasons to pursue a finance career in Singapore

As businesses vie for top talent, trends in compensation and benefits are ever evolving. The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide identifies the hiring trends that are impacting employer attempts to onboard the right talent.

The candidate market remains

Businesses of all sizes are struggling to fill vacant roles and manage workloads. Local jobseekers are in a strong position when looking for a new role, with employers paying high salaries, offering more flexibility and premium benefits to secure top candidates.

The strong job market remains

Despite talks of a recession and other uncertainties, hiring plans in Singapore remain relatively unaffected. While employees are cautious in the face of volatility, companies are focusing on maintaining headcount to fill vacant roles and support workloads. Team restructures and a re-evaluation of critical roles may eventuate if required in the changing market.

The demand for flexibility remains

With 72% of Singaporean professionals preferring hybrid working, employers need to strike a balance between return-to-office policies and flexible work arrangements. With employees accustomed to work-life balance and cost and time benefits, employers must remain mindful when increasing in-office days. There is a significant risk of losing employees to other organisations who offer more appealing hybrid work arrangements.

Contract work – an immediate solution

Businesses are turning to contractors to quickly fill niche skill gaps and resource short-term projects, alongside a core team of permanent employees. This offers more agility and allows for efficient cost management.

Retention is more crucial than ever

In the face of a tight labour market and competitor headhunting, businesses are turning their focus to retention and upskilling existing employees. Market appropriate salaries and benefits are key to reducing the rate of turnover.

The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide offers a wide snapshot of average market salaries by specialisation and job category so that you can ascertain how much you should be paying if you want to become an employer of choice.

Read More: 4 ways to offer a competitive salary and benefits this year

Robert Half Singapore managing director, Andrea Wong says the current trends in compensation and benefits are indicative of Singapore’s tight talent pool. She says, “employee expectations post pandemic have shifted considerably. In our skills short market, businesses need to reengineer their approach to hiring in a way that combines the reward, flexibility, culture, opportunity and meaningful experience that employees have come to expect.”

While competitive salaries are an important factor in attracting and retaining talent, other perks and benefits are becoming increasingly important to candidates.

Singapore Perks and Benefits

The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide affirms that benefits and perks are crucial components of an attractive salary package in the midst of rising skills shortages. When it comes to trends in compensation and benefits, it’s clear that Singapore businesses are looking beyond salary to improve talent acquisition and retention efforts in 2023.

In an effort to differentiate themselves and improve their employee value proposition, businesses are harnessing a number of perks and benefits that are becoming increasingly important to their employees.

The most popular benefits in 2023 include:

  • Remote work options
  • Wellness programs
  • Flexible work options
  • Extra paid leave
  • Training allowance
  • Career development opportunities

While such benefits are important considerations for any organisation, they provide substantial leverage for smaller businesses who may not be able to match the starting salaries of their larger competitors.

Data shows that of all the benefits Singaporeans want from their employers, they want flexible work the most. Therefore, the future of work demands heightened consideration from employers. It’s critical that they identify the benefits that will meet candidate expectations to keep them engaged and satisfied.

Read More: 7 benefits of flexible working hours in Singapore

Andrea Wong believes employers need to adopt a holistic approach to stay competitive. “Employee needs are more important than ever - an emphasis on flexibility, workplace culture, total rewards and well-being is the key to meeting their needs in 2023”, she says.

The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide is updated on an annual basis so employers can better understand the changing needs of employees. This provides an advanced opportunity to shape initiatives that align with the evolving needs and expectations of your workforce to enhance engagement, productivity, and overall satisfaction.

The current trends in compensation and benefits demonstrate that modern employees expect more than just a salary when it comes to work. Paying more won’t always satisfy them but, how you reward them requires deep review and holistic focus. In 2023, organisations are embracing numerous hiring trends and flexibility with a focus on perks, benefits and corporate culture. The Robert Half 2023 Salary Guide makes it easy to stay abreast of these evolving trends to attract and retain top talent, improve employee satisfaction and sharpen competitive edge in the dynamic Singapore job market.

If you’re looking for your next candidate, our experienced team of talent specialists are here to help. Contact us today.

If you’re seeking advice on any workplace issues within your business, our experienced team of management specialists can help.

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