SINGAPORE: Singapore’s job market is set for a lively start in 2024, as indicated by insights from the Jobstreet Hiring, Compensation & Benefits Report 2024. Conducted in September 2023, the report tapped into the perspectives of 673 hiring professionals across various industries and company sizes.

Optimism runs high for the first half of 2024, with 45% of hirers confident to have a “more active” job market this year. However, expectations slightly taper off for the latter half of the year, with only 32% remaining confident about the job market.

Looking ahead, nearly half of the respondents (49%) revealed plans to boost their workforce in the initial half of 2024. Additionally, 3 out of 10 hirers are gearing up to increase their teams with contract or temporary staff, citing reasons such as business expansion (54%) and challenges in recruiting full-time employees (34%).

Jan – Jun 2024 hiring plans for contract / temporary staff
Photo: JobStreet

Additionally, over 52% of the surveyed companies have engaged in salary benchmarking initiatives to ensure equitable remuneration. Notably, 26% of hirers factor in inflation when calculating salary increments.

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Initiatives undertaken by organisations to evaluate and enhance compensation and benefits
Photo: JobStreet

In 2023, more companies distributed bonuses to their employees, although only 49% disclosed their bonus calculation methods. Salary increments, however, saw a dip, with the average increase resting at 5.8%, compared to 6.3% in 2022.

Despite this, staff promotions experienced a notable uptick, with 59% of companies facilitating career advancement opportunities, offering an average increment of 9.24%.

Special Leaves

Companies offering birthday leave increased by 4% last year, and this trend is expected to continue. This indicates a high priority for birthday leave and family care leave, both at 9%.

Additionally, there’s a growing emphasis on extending additional paternity and maternity leave, with percentages of 8% and 7%, respectively, reflecting a focus on employee well-being and family support.

Special Leaves
Photo: JobStreet

Employee Benefits

Health checks/medical screening coverage took the lead in 2023 at 6%, followed by medical insurance and dental coverage at 5% each.

Looking ahead, health checks and medical coverage are a sustained priority, alongside a growing interest in flexible benefits that cater to individual needs and preferences.

Employee Benefits
Photo: JobStreet

Accommodation

While not commonly offered, accommodation rental reimbursement is the most prevalent benefit among companies that provide accommodation perks.

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Accommodation Benefits
Photo: JobStreet

Career Development

More companies also focus on upskilling employees through training/self-learning programmes and job rotation, at 4%. The future outlook indicates a focus on these programmes, with 9% of companies planning to provide such initiatives.

Career Development Programmes
Photo: JobStreet

Work-life Balance

New benefits introduced in 2023 include flexible working hours (5%) and free snacks/beverages/fruits (4%).

Flexible workplace arrangements and organizational activities are anticipated to remain key focus areas in 2024 as companies strive to enhance employee work-life balance and well-being.

Work-life Balance Benefits 1
Photo: JobStreet
Work-life Balance Benefits 2
Photo: JobStreet

Family-Friendly Benefits

Plans to extend work activities/events to family members and provide nursing rooms at the workplace are expected to materialise in 2024, creating inclusive and family-friendly work environments.

Family-Friendly Benefits
Photo: JobStreet

Other benefits

While transportation allowances within the country continue to be common, there’s a growing consideration for introducing allowances for work outside the country, indicating a potential resurgence in business travel.

Other benefits
Photo: JobStreet

However, uncertainty looms for 2024, especially among companies adhering to a fully return-to-office arrangement.

Employees are increasingly preferring flexible workplace options, prompting companies to reevaluate their working arrangements to attract and retain talent.

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Remote Work Support

Laptops for employees and virtual meeting support remain crucial forms of remote working support.

Companies are expected to prioritise providing work-from-home guidelines and allowances for remote work setups to ensure employee productivity.

Remote work support
Photo: JobStreet

Poor mental health is increasingly common in Singapore. While most hirers (76%) rated their companies as moderately stressful, with level 5 being the most common rating (25%), approximately 16% of workplaces are considered highly stressful.

Organisation stress level
Photo: JobStreet
Causes of employee stress
Photo: JobStreet

Although mental health is becoming more and more non-negotiable in this generation, only 38% of hirers believe their organisations do enough to help employees handle stress, showing room for improvement.

Yet, 34% of companies started new well-being initiatives in 2023. More mental health talks were held, but 35% of companies only did so once a year, suggesting ongoing improvement is needed. /TISG

Read also: Jobstreet Salary Guide 2023: Singapore’s job market and salary trends across industries