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The ending year 2023 was a bit of a mixed bag for workers in Singapore. Employment remained high, following a strong post-pandemic rebound in 2022, but salaries took the first hit in years, falling by 2.3 per cent in real terms due to biting inflation.
Fortunately, the predictions for 2024 are more optimistic across the board.
Economic growth is expected to pick up from just around 1 per cent this year to as high as 3 per cent (on the higher end of the projections by the Ministry of Trade and Industry).
As we know, higher growth typically translates into greater business optimism and that, in turn, should improve professional opportunities — whether at your current workplace or somewhere else.
And, according to recent surveys, employers appear to be aware of that.
Everybody wants to leave…
The latest annual Salary Survey by Robert Walters Group indicates that in some industries very nearly all employees are considering jumping ship in 2024, with the highest reported figures being in:
- 93 per cent in Tech & Transformation
- 87 per cent Banking & Finance
- 80 per cent Supply Chain & Procurement
- 80 per cent in Accounting & Finance
Of course, it’s hard to expect these figures to pan out in real life — a turnover of 80 per cent would mean a massive outflow of knowledge, with tens or hundreds of thousands of people having to readapt in new companies — but it does show the underlying ambitions, which employers are going to have to respond to.
And while workers do dream about flexible, hybrid or remote work arrangements or working just 4 days per week, there’s one thing that consistently comes out on top: money.
…but they all have a price
And it seems that employers are aware of it since, according to another survey, this time by Morgan McKinley Singapore, 72 per cent of them are planning to increase salaries for the most sought-after professionals, amid not only a local but global talent crunch.
Meanwhile, Walters’ survey confirms that 43 per cent of workers would consider a counter-offer from their current company even after accepting a new position somewhere else, with a whopping 94 per cent admitting they would stay if offered a sufficient raise.
And while flexible working conditions rank high on the list of priorities for 70 per cent of respondents, money, in the form of e.g. a good bonus scheme, takes the top spot with 87 per cent.
In the face of rising prices, it seems more people are willing to trade some comforts that the pandemic has introduced to the workplace, if only the new job (or the old one) pays better.
But which one?
Hottest professions in 2024
According to Robert Walters Group, about 63% of employees in tech, supply chain & procurement, as well as HR and sales & marketing can expect raises next year.
Moving between jobs — particularly those in short supply (e.g. in tech) — should yield the biggest financial boost (of 10 to 15 per cent), so it makes sense to shop around and either switch teams or return to your boss knowing what you’re currently worth in the open market.
Especially if yours is on this list of the most in-demand positions according to Walters’ survey:
Accounting & finance:
- Finance business partners
- Corporate finance
- Commercial analysts
Banking & financial services:
- Portfolio managers/research/investment analysts
- ESG roles
- HR business partner
- Talent management/acquisition
- Office manager/Executive assistant
Sales & marketing:
- Commercial directors/managers
- Business development & managers
- Customer relationship management and loyalty marketing
Supply chain, procurement & logistics:
- Logistics & distribution
Technology & transformation:
- Head of digital or business transformation
- Software developers
- Cloud & DevOps
Featured image: imtmphoto / depositphoto