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3 in 5 people want employer’s values to align with their own: Survey

SINGAPORE — Slightly more than three in five working professionals here feel that it is important for their employer’s positions on various social and political values to align with their own and some are also willing to decline job offers from companies whose values do not align with theirs.

3 in 5 people want employer’s values to align with their own: Survey

In the survey, Singapore workers were more likely to decline a job offer if the company's values did not align with their own than if they were required to work in the office full-time.

  • A majority of respondents are more likely to decline a job offer if the company’s values conflict with theirs
  • By contrast, only about a third are likely to decline one requires full attendance in the office
  • Experts TODAY spoke to said employees are now looking beyond monetary gains like salary and job benefits

 

SINGAPORE — Slightly more than three in five people here feel that it is important for their employer’s positions on various social and political values to align with their own and some are also willing to decline job offers from companies whose values do not align with theirs.

These are among the findings of an annual salary survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters released on Monday (Dec 6).

Its poll in July of 608 respondents from six Southeast Asian countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines — found that the pandemic has shaped employees’ perspectives of work, especially in terms of hybrid working and company values.

It found that respondents are more likely to decline a job offer if the company’s values conflict with theirs as compared to a job that requires full attendance in the office.

The survey found that the top three values and affiliations that must align with theirs are:

  • Racial, cultural or religious matters (67 per cent)

  • Diversity, inclusion and equality (67 per cent)

  • Workers’ rights (56 per cent)

Robert Walters said this is the first time the annual survey, which is in its 23rd edition, has asked about these issues.

Based on its consultation with clients and respondents, there has been increased interest from employees who want to know what firms are doing on social issues and companies which want to know how they can attract and retain employees through taking on these issues, it added.

Experts TODAY spoke to said employees are now looking beyond monetary gains like salary and job benefits.

Veteran human resource practitioner Adrian Tan said that this has been more prevalent in the last year as people’s inability to travel or spend much naturally makes them look at other factors in their jobs.

“They’re looking at what’s next. They’re looking for meaning and purpose and things that align with their end goal,” he said.

Mr Adrian Choo, founder of career consulting company Career Agility International, added that it is a two-way street.

“People want to work with not just the organisation but colleagues who share similar values.

“On the other hand, companies are also looking at candidates with the same values for a good fit and to reduce the rate of attrition,” he said.

Mr Tan said this highlighted the need for corporations to confront how they will manage the growing trend of employees, especially the younger generation, who are more socially and politically charged.

In comparison, only 33 per cent of respondents said they are likely to decline a job that requires full attendance in the office.

More than half — or 54 per cent — of respondents here prefer to work in the office for at least two days a week, as compared to the 71 per cent of employees in the region who prefer to do so.

They cited the sense of belonging and inclusion in the office environment and face-to-face interaction with colleagues among the reasons why a hybrid work arrangement is preferred.

Mr Gerrit Bouckaert, Robert Walters’ managing director for South-east Asia, said: “We are looking at a talent-driven hiring situation in 2022, with intense competition of talent with in-demand skill sets on one hand, and sharp attrition on the other.

“Companies will need to do more to deepen the engagement with their existing employees. As companies prepare to adjust to the relaxation of workplace measures, tackling the issue of having better work-life balance is key to a successful hybrid work arrangement.”

MANY LOOKING TO CHANGE JOBS

While Singapore’s hiring market in 2020 was modest, 2021 saw businesses ramping up activities and resuming hiring plans in preparation for growth.

“Consequently, there was an increase in job flows across all divisions, and for both permanent and contract roles. The candidate movements resulted in companies increasingly making counter offers to keep talent,” said Robert Walters.

The survey found that one in two respondents are looking to change jobs within the next six months and a majority — or 88 per cent — of respondents have accepted a counteroffer. Among them, 75 per cent stayed on for at least a year.

Slightly more than three in five respondents said they will not consider a counteroffer from their existing employer after accepting a new job offer.

Fulfilling the commitment made to the new company, a lack of confidence in the current job offering future job satisfaction or meeting long-term career goals, or that the reasons for leaving could not be overcome, are top factors that influence the decision.

SALARIES INCREASES REMAIN MODEST

Robert Walters said 2021 saw increasing attrition rates due to the rise in demand for local talent as expatriates returned home for good, limitations in travel, visas and work permits and more employees switching jobs — a recurring pattern observed among countries that have come out of lockdowns.

But the hiring market in 2022 is expected to cool down slightly after a “hectic boom” in 2021.

Mr Tan said the pandemic has decimated many businesses and in turn affected opportunities for workers here. And as borders reopen, many firms might start to bring in foreign talents or tap other workers in the region as remote working has been made possible.

However, Mr Choo felt that the market will pick up “tremendously” and the momentum in 2021 will continue to 2022 as economies in the region bounce back. This will in turn result in an uptick in job opportunities, he said.

With the increasing scarcity of professionals with skill sets in fields such as technology, automation and analytics, salaries in these areas are expected to “increase significantly” due to talent shortage, it added.

For professionals switching jobs across other industries, salary premiums of 10 to 15 per cent are expected.

Mr Monty Sujanani, country manager at Robert Walters Singapore, said: “In engaging with existing employees, we encourage companies to take a more proactive stance to check in regularly, and have open and transparent discussions about areas such as career progression and job satisfaction. This will certainly go a long way to minimise the need for counter offers later when they resign.

“When it comes to interacting with potential hires, move quickly, keep the entire interview process short, and maximise each engagement opportunity. Continue to hire and invest for potential, and for niche skill sets that are non-existent in the local talent pool, consider programmes that help to bring Singaporeans with these skill sets back from abroad.”

Related topics

employers employees HR values Covid-19 work from home

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