Increased interest in joining start-ups among jobseekers: CareerBuilder Singapore’s Employer of Choice Survey 2018

As the competition heats up between organisations to attract and retain talent in the tight labour market, companies who have consistently invested providing attractive employee packages as well as a strong work culture remain Employers of Choice. The interest and willingness to work for Start-Up companies is also seeing a steady increase. These are among the key insights from CareerBuilder Singapore’s Employer of Choice Survey 2018, which saw over 3,000 respondents.

“As companies recognise the importance to position themselves as Employers of Choice, the process will take time. Organisations who make the conscious effort to understand the attitudes of their employees, so that in turn they are able to cultivate a workplace culture and develop an appealing employer brand, will have an advantage in attracting and retaining talent in the long run,” said Premlesh Machama, APAC Region President of CareerBuilder Singapore.

Building a Reputation and Work Culture Pays Off

Minimal changes were seen among the employers that respondents want to work for, or remain at. The Top Private Employers of Choice remained the same for 2017 and 2018, with tech-giant Google in top place for the fourth consecutive year. As for Government/Government-linked Employers of Choice, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board retained their titles as first and second in the category. The Top 10 Start-up Employers of Choice saw Carousell and Redmart at the first and second places for the third year running, while Honestbee rose one position to third place.

Similar to previous years, remuneration remains important — 88% of respondents said that the top trait of an Employer of Choice was “offers attractive pay, bonuses, and other monetary compensation”. This was followed closely by “offers good career growth and opportunities“, which was selected by 87.7% of respondents.

However career growth and culture-related reasons appeared to be more important to warrant a change of jobs.  The lack of career growth was cited by 66.1% of the respondents as the top motivation to switch jobs, followed by unhappiness with superiors (44.9%) and “an unfriendly work culture” (43.7%).

Increased interest in Start-ups

Working for a start-up company continues to be popular, as 69% of respondents cited their willingness and interest to do so, steadily increasing from 59% in 2016, and 68% in 2017. Compelling reasons include a perceived availability of learning opportunities (82%), the ability to work closely with a group of passionate and enthusiastic colleagues, and an exposure to a wide spectrum of job roles.

Those who would not work in a start-up company cited the lack of job security as the business may fail as the top reason (78%), more so than getting a relatively lower pay (61%).

Other key findings in the survey include:

  • Healthcare and Medical Jobs preferred over Finance: The most preferred industry was Healthcare/Medical (21.1%), followed by Government and Education/Training industries. Banking/Finance/Investment fell five places from 1st to the fifth.
  • More realistic expectations among fresh graduates: Possibly a result of the slower economy and tighter employment market, there is a fall in salary expectations compared to 2017’s results. More respondents (27.4%) chose “S$2,500 — S$2,999” as their expected salary range, compared to 2017 where respondents chose an expected salary range of $3,000 to S$3,500. A slightly higher percentage of fresh graduates indicated “five years” as their expected time to become a Manager, as compared to “three years” in 2017’s results.
  • Staying with employers for the long run: Contrary to the common belief that graduates are job hoppers, this year’s results suggest that they desire to remain with the employers for the long run. More than half (55.1%) of graduates expect to change jobs no more than twice in the next 10 years.

The Employer of Choice Survey 2018 was conducted between May to October 2018, among over 3,000 working adults as well as tertiary undergraduates, aged 16 years and above.