Singapore’s IT employees seeking greener pastures

The desire for more work-life balance and career diversity/progression is making IT employees look for new job opportunities. Read more here.

Desire for work-life balance and career diversity leading to rise in staff resignation

  • 65% of Singaporean CIOs say voluntary employee turnover among permanent IT professionals has increased over the last three years.
  • Top three reasons why IT employees have voluntarily left the company are desire for more work-life balance (55%), desire for more diverse career experiences (53%) and more career progression prospects (41%). 

The desire for more work-life balance and career diversity/progression is making IT employees look for new job opportunities, according to new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half. According to the research, almost two-thirds (65%) of Singaporean CIOs say their company’s voluntary employee turnover – defined as employees freely resigning – among permanent IT professionals has increased over the last three years. Only 8% say it has decreased. 

With a recent survey by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) showing jobs for technical IT specialists are expected to grow by 33,400 from 2017 to 2019 , IT professionals in Singapore are presented with an abundance of job opportunities – therefore highlighting the necessity for employers to focus on staff retention initiatives to keep their top performers long-term amidst a booming IT jobs market.

Of the CIOs who say voluntary employee turnover has increased in the past three years, the following top five reasons were attributed to employee resignations: poor work-life balance (55%), professional desire for more diverse career experiences (53%), stagnant career progression prospects within the company (41%), more IT job opportunities in the market (39%) and concern over company performance/fear of redundancies (29%).  

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “Singapore’s booming technology market is not only creating an abundance of job opportunities, it’s also raising the expectations for the city-state’s IT talent. Skilled IT professionals know they are in demand and are more likely to change jobs if they are offered remuneration packages that encompass their desires and meet expectations, highlighting the ongoing war for IT talent in Singapore.” 

“Singapore’s IT employers need to take a proactive approach to staff retention if they want to avoid losing their top performers. Not only is staff turnover costly from a business perspective given the reduced productivity and the additional recruitment costs, it can also lead to low staff morale and the loss of company knowledge, which can all directly impact a company’s bottom line and competitiveness in the market as a result.” 

“Employees are a company’s most important resource, which is why it’s essential IT leaders take measures to reduce staff turnover by listening to and addressing their employees’ concerns before they escalate. Offering flexible work hours or more diverse projects to individual employees who may feel like their role is stagnating can be a key motivator for staff engagement. Equally, employee wellbeing programs, offering clear career pathways and creating a positive company culture can go a long way to retaining staff in the long-term without significantly increasing costs to the company,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard. 

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About the research
The annual study was developed by Robert Half Singapore and was conducted in June - July 2017 by an independent research company. The study is based on 75 interviews with CIOs/CTOs from companies across Singapore, with the results segmented by company size, sector and geographic location. 

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