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Katrina Chui
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Media Release

Will a pay increase be enough to retain your top employees?

30 May 2017, SINGAPORE – Almost 90% of employees surveyed by Hudson expect their base salary to increase at their next review with their manager, but only 2 in 5 said that a pay rise would be enough for them to stay with their organisation for another 12 months.

Hudson surveyed almost 3,500 employers and employees across Asia to canvass their views on talent trends. 1

The research found that in a competitive hiring market – with 88% of Singaporean employers either increasing headcount or replacing staff who leave – most professionals are keeping an eye on the market in case there are better opportunities elsewhere.

In Singapore, only 16% of employees surveyed said they were planning to stay in their current job, while 29% were actively seeking a new role and the remaining 55% were open to new opportunities.

“Professionals want to keep their options open, especially those who have niche skill sets or technical skills, as they know they are in high demand,” said Alena Salakhova, Hudson Regional Director, Singapore.

“Professionals are managing their digital profiles and maintaining relationships with specialist recruiters so they can be alerted to good opportunities when they come up – even if they’re happy in their current organisation or indeed even if they receive a pay rise.”

When asked what outcome they expect from their next pay review with their manager, 25% of employees expected their base salary to increase by 0-5%, 45% expected an increase of 6-10% and 17% expected an increase of more than 10%. Only 13% expected their pay to remain the same, and less than 1% expected a decrease.

However, a pay rise alone does not guarantee that good employees will stay. When asked ‘If your salary increased, would you stay with your organisation for another 12 months?’, 42% of employees said yes, while 44% were not sure and 14% said no.

Hiring challenges

When it comes to hiring new staff, the top three hiring challenges identified by employers were:

  1. Finding candidates with the relevant technical skills for the roles
  2. Finding candidates with the relevant soft skills for the roles
  3. Finding candidates with the right cultural fit for your team

“Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who not only have the right technical skills and experience, but who have the right soft skills and cultural fit,” Salakhova said.

She said employers were looking for candidates who can influence effectively, as well as characteristics such as adaptability and resilience, as organisations respond to changing markets and new digital technologies.

For employers to ensure they can source the best candidates, they need access to pre-qualified talent pools of professionals in specialist job functions who already have established relationships with recruiters.

During the selection process, behavioural-based interview techniques and psychometric testing can provide clarity and confidence about a candidate’s behaviours, motivations and values.

“There’s definitely been a shift in the way organisations approach recruitment. In the past, clients demanded transactional recruitment: find someone who can do the job, as quickly as possible, and negotiate the pay. Now it’s much more about matching the right talent to the right organisations,” Salakhova said.

“Our clients require us to be partners in the package negotiation process. It’s about engaging the candidate with the organisation’s benefits and culture, to ensure a good ‘professional marriage’ for the employee and employer.”

Hiring intentions

Singapore Hudson Talent Trends 2017 Hiring Intentions

Top three in-demand job functions

Accounting & Finance

  1. Financial Planning and Analysis
  2. Corporate Finance
  3. Financial Reporting

Financial Services

  1. Financial crime compliance
  2. KYC
  3. Internal audit

Human Resources

  1. HR business partnering
  2. Talent management
  3. Compensation and benefits

Sales & Marketing

  1. Sales
  2. Digital sales
  3. Pre-sales


  1. IT business partnering
  2. Cyber security management
  3. Software development manager

– ENDS –

1 Results for Singapore only include employers and employees within the following job functions/sectors: Accounting & Finance, Financial Services, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing and Technology.

Editor Note
Please contact us for more information, print-ready graphs or to arrange an interview.

The term ‘net sentiment’ means the net effect figure is calculated by taking the percentage of employers surveyed that expect to increase permanent staff levels, or their contracting/temporary workforce, during the forthcoming six months and subtracting the percentage of employers surveyed that expect to decrease staff levels.

Background on research:
For the last decade, we have tracked ‘intentions to hire’ as a status check on the hiring landscape. But demand for talent is one thing, supply is another and the picture isn’t quite complete without a line of sight into the people being hired. As a result, we have now been expanded to include core data on job seekers and their career plans. The objective: to provide employers with key insights that help them attract and retain the best people in today’s talent market and beyond.

Hudson undertook quantitative research with hiring managers and employees across Asia to analyze the talent landscape and provide insights on what employers might expect in 2017 and beyond.

We canvassed the views of almost 3,500 Asian employers and employees in March 2017, across multiple job functions. From these findings we developed this report for the legal profession – a combination of the survey findings and Hudson's specialist insights on the hiring landscape.

Percentages don't always total 100% because respondents could select more than one option for certain questions.

About Hudson
Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in specialist recruitment, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management and contracting solutions. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, market knowledge and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. Through relationships with millions of local and global specialised professionals, and via our world-class talent solutions and tailored, consultative approach, we help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and superior business results. More information is available at

Forward-Looking Statements
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