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One in two employers surveyed plan to hire more permanent staff in 1H2024: Jobstreet by Seek

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 4 min read
One in two employers surveyed plan to hire more permanent staff in 1H2024: Jobstreet by Seek
Close to one in two of employers surveyed believe Singapore’s job market will be more active in 1H2024, but just one in three hirers say the same about the latter half of the year. Photo: Bloomberg
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Close to one in two employers surveyed believe Singapore’s job market will be more active in 1H2024, but just one in three hirers say the same about the latter half of the year. 

Employment portal Jobstreet by Seek polled 673 hiring professionals in Singapore across a range of company sizes and sectors in September 2023. 

According to the survey results, released on Feb 29, 49% of employers were keen on increasing their permanent headcount, and around 33% of employers also plan on increasing their contract staff in 1H2024.

They cite business expansion plans (54%) and difficulty in recruiting suitable full-time staff (34%). 

Large businesses surveyed, or those with at least 100 employees, hired more aggressively in 2023, with a 23% increase in hiring permanent part-time staff and a 26 percentage point (ppt) increase in hiring contract full-time staff. 

See also: What may be included in Singapore's unemployment benefits for retrenched workers?

Among the new permanent full-time hires, admin and HR staff topped the list of job functions in both 2022 and 2023, while accounting replaced sales and business development for second place last year. 

See also: Singapore plans law to support gig workers’ retirement needs

On the flipside, medium-sized businesses surveyed, defined as those with between 51 and 99 employees, were more likely to have laid off staff, with permanent full-time employees most affected in 2023 compared to 2022. 

Admin and HR, accounting and sales and business development again placed among the top three permanent full-time job functions that were affected by layoffs in 2023, indicating high levels of churn in these roles. 

Other roles that were most affected by layoffs in 2023 are customer service, information technology, engineering, marketing and branding, building and construction, manufacturing and management. 

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced at Budget 2024 that the government will announce a “temporary financial support scheme” later this year for retrenched staff. 

According to Wong, displaced workers “may not have the time to train or search for new jobs, especially when they are already straining to make ends meet”. Hence, the scheme will support this group of workers “while they undergo training or look for better-fitting jobs”.

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Bonus, salary and promotion

Jobstreet by Seek’s Hiring, Compensation and Benefits Report 2024 also surveyed employee bonuses, salary increments and promotions.

Due to good business recovery in 2022 after the Covid-19 pandemic, more companies gave out bonuses in 2023 to their employees, especially in the form of performance bonus

It remains the most popular form of bonus given, with the total amount of average bonus payout increasing to 1.4 months of salary last year, slightly higher than the 1.3 months reported in 2022. 

However, only 49% of the surveyed companies shared the method used to calculate bonus payouts with their employees. 

Similarly, the recovery in business performance also prompted a higher number of companies (84%) to reward their employees with salary increases in 2023. However, despite the positive momentum, the average salary increment in 2023 was 5.8%, a slight decrease from the 6.3% increment reported in 2022. 

Staff promotions witnessed a noteworthy rise from 47% in 2022 to 59% in 2023. The most prevalent range for salary increments remains in the 6% to 10% bracket, with the average increment provided standing at 9.24%.

Jobstreet by Seek

The report was announced together with the merger of Australia-listed Seek with its Asia-Pacific marketplaces, Jobstreet and Jobsdb, which it acquired back in 2014. Moving forward, the marketplaces will operate under a single platform while retaining the individual brands.

The portal claims to serve 40 million candidates over eight APAC markets, with opportunities from over 2.5 million employers. 

According to Chew Siew Mee, managing director, Singapore, Jobstreet by Seek boasts some 2.7 million candidates from Singapore and around 60,000 to 70,000 roles here.

“In today’s employment landscape, there’s a growing demand for specialised skill sets, like care economy skills or digital economy skills,” says Chew. “In line with our goal of supporting both talent and hirers, we’re excited to facilitate more tailored and better job matches to address the crux of the problem.”

Infographics: Jobstreet by Seek

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