High recruitment anticipated but Singapore workers less inclined to change jobs

Nearly half of employers in Singapore have plans to increase their permanent headcount this year, finds the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide. Despite this, jobseeker sentiment is at a five-year low.

Now in its 15th edition, the Guide compiles and presents salary and sector overviews based on real data and a survey of skilled professionals across China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Over 9,500 responses were collected between October to November 2021. 

47% of Singapore employers said they expect staff levels to increase in the next twelve months. This is higher than 36% who reported an increase in staff levels in the last twelve months. Similarly, only 10% said they expect a decrease in staff levels, compared to 25% who said staff numbers decreased in the last twelve months. In a separate question, 79% said they did not expect hiring freezes in their organisations this year.

Kirsty Hulston, Regional Director of Hays Singapore says, “Employers certainly have an increased appetite to hire this year, given the lifting of hiring freezes and the high level of business activity anticipated. With the pandemic stabilising and the economy recovering from the disruption, employers in Singapore were some of the most optimistic in Asia, with 73% saying they expect business activity levels to increase this year.”

In comparison, 74% of employers in Malaysia expect increased business activity levels. Least optimistic was employers in China, at 60%.

However, it seems that employees in Singapore are less inclined to leave their jobs. Only 26% of respondents said they are actively looking for a new job this year, compared to 34% last year, and 40% in 2018.

“Our data tells us that the top three factors keeping employees feeling happy with their jobs is salary package, work-life balance, and flexible working options. Given the fewer number of people actively job searching, it indicates that employers’ retention strategies, especially those designed to adapt to a new world of flexibility and hybrid workplaces, are working. However, instead of being complacent, employers should actively listen to their staff more to understand what makes them feel more fulfilled at work,” says Kirsty.

For more 2022 trends and insights, download the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide.


About Hays Singapore

Hays Specialist Recruitment Pte Ltd, Singapore ("Hays Singapore") is one of Singapore's leading recruitment companies in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions.

Hays has been in Singapore for over a decade and boasts a track record of success and growth. We operate across the private and public sector, dealing  in permanent, temporary and contracting positions in more than 15 different specialisms, including Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Life Sciences, Marketing & Digital, Office Professionals, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales. Hays Singapore was named the “Best Small Workplace” in Singapore in 2019 and 2018, and was ranked fourth “Best Multinational Workplace” in Asia 2020 by Great Place to Work.


About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2021 the Group employed c.12,100 staff operating from 254 offices across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2021:

  • the Group reported net fees of £918.1 million and operating profit of £95.1 million;
  • the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 220,000 people into temporary roles;
  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 22% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 61% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 39% of net fees;
  • Technology is the Group’s largest specialism, with 26% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (14%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest