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More Singapore job-seekers open to salary cuts amid Covid-19 pandemic: Survey

Advice from industry expert: Remain flexible and focus on learning new skills

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Singapore — It seems that the days are gone when job-seekers could be choosy about the  their employment packages, especially the salary. With the economy badly affected by the pandemic, not just in Singapore but all over the world, people cannot be choosy.

According to a report in straitstimes.com (ST) on Monday (Oct 5), more job-seekers in Singapore are now willing to take just to be gainfully employed. It cites a survey by Randstad Singapore from June and July that says more than 50 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to be hired for jobs with a cut in pay.

“It is clear that the majority of companies have implemented some levels of cost-cutting measures this year.

“(Therefore) those who’ve been retrenched or who are at heightened risk of having their job scope changed significantly are voluntarily revising their salary expectations when looking for a new employer,” the report quotes Ms Jaya Dass, Randstad Managing Director for Malaysia and Singapore.

The report includes a list of jobs which include those where the median salaries are noticeably lower this year than in 2019, including cashiers, whose median salary was $300 higher last year, retail assistants ($400 higher last year) and sales executives ($200 higher last year).

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This data was obtained from the database of FastJobs for positions posted between June and August this year versus the same period last year.

“Generally, people are more flexible with salaries now as they recognise that it’s difficult to get a job and also that in trying out a new industry, taking less pay than their last (salary) may be necessary as their previous experience is not as relevant.

“There are also factors like age and personal commitments that affect their willingness to take lower pay in exchange for flexibility,” according to FastJobs General Manager Lim Huishan.

The report adds, however, that there may be a rise in salaries in some sectors, including manufacturing, which has had to attract more local talent with Malaysian workers locked down back home.

Other sectors where salaries have grown include the pharmaceutical industry, due to greater demand. However, sectors such as hospitality and tourism have seen salaries become lower.

What job-seekers can do is to remain flexible, said Ms Betul Genc, the country manager for Adecco, as well as to focus on learning new skills.

“While the salary might be slightly lower, the job will help you re-enter the workforce as quickly as possible, ride you out of the crisis, and professionally, there may be other learning and development opportunities within the organisation.

“We would also encourage being open to opportunities even if it is a temporary or contract role, as it helps with gaining new skills and experience. The longer a job-seeker remains out of work, the lower the bargaining power.” /TISG

Read also: Calvin Cheng: Cancelling free-trade agreements such as CECA will not protect local jobs

Calvin Cheng: Cancelling free-trade agreements such as CECA will not protect local jobs

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