Singapore finance employees switching jobs more frequently

02 February 2013

Average tenure shorter than other countries in the world
1 in 4 new hires asked to leave for not meeting expectations

[Singapore]  January 10, 2013:  Finance and accounting employees in Singapore are the world’s most chronic job hoppers, serving a shorter period of tenure in a job than anywhere else in the world. They serve just 3.4 years in a job – far below the global average of 5.2 years, according to a survey by finance and accounting specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

More than 2,100 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance directors working in different industries in 15 countries took part in the survey, including 150 from Singapore.

According to the survey, one in three (34 per cent) finance and accounting employees will last two years or less in a new job, compared to the global average of 15 per cent.


Length of employment All Countries Singapore
< 1 year 1% 1%
1 year 3% 4%
2 years 11% 29%
3 years 16% 31%
4 years 12% 12%
5 years 24% 17%
6 years to 9 years 14% 1%
> 10 years 19% 5%
Average 5 years 2 months 3 years 5 months


At the other end of the scale, Singapore has far fewer long-term employees, with just one in 20 (5 per cent) employees clocking up 10 or more years of service with one company – the lowest percentage compared to other countries in the world.

This contrasts with the global number where 19 percent of employees stay for 10 or more years.  The country with the highest proportion of employees with 10 or more year’s tenure is Austria with 42 per cent.

Ms Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore, said the survey findings suggest that there are many reasons as to why finance and accounting professionals are so mobile within the Singapore workforce.

“A Singapore finance or accounting employee will have many jobs within their working lifetime.  They will move for a range of reasons – better remuneration, promotion, a new challenge, an overseas posting or more flexible work arrangements.”

“Singapore employees are also highly mobile because they are highly skilled.  As Singapore’s position as a global business and financial hub grows, there are more opportunities for talented finance and accounting employees to move across industries and functions.”   

“However, not all employees leave a job by their own choice.  Some leave because their performance does not meet expectations and are either asked to leave or offered a more junior role which they choose not to take,” Ms Tang said.

According to the survey, the most common reason new employees leave the company within the first year is because they do not meet their employer’s expectations (26 per cent).  Another 18 per cent leave because the role did not meet the employee’s expectations and 15 per cent leave due to poor fit with the corporate culture.

Reasons why employees leave within the first year

  All Countries Singapore
Inability to meet expectations 24% 26%
Poor fit with corporate culture 18% 15%
Role did not meet expectations 15% 18%
Offered higher remuneration 13% 13%
Inability to integrate with team members 12% 11%
Ineffective induction process 7% 3%
Ineffective staff management 6% 7%
Restructuring / redundancies 3% 6%
Other 2% 1%
  100% 100%

Document: Singapore finance employees switching jobs more frequently


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Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
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