jobsDB hiring survey reveals healthy job market for graduates
Healthy job market for graduates
  • New survey of SMEs in Singapore shows 70% of respondents are actively hiring, despite feeling the pressures of a tight labour market
  • Favourable job prospects for fresh graduates and diploma holders
  • 48% of respondents are uncertain about hiring foreigners

Singapore, 26 February 2015 – jobsDB, Singapore’s leading online job portal, today announced optimistic hiring behaviour for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with the majority looking to fill entry level and junior executive roles over the next six months.

The hiring index survey, which canvassed the opinions of over 300 SMEs in Singapore on their hiring plans and preferences, revealed that 70% of respondents are looking to employ new staff. Only 10% have frozen headcount for the next six months, while 20% have no current hiring plans.

Interestingly, the top reasons given for not hiring include candidates being underqualified or overqualified for the position, poorly structured resumes and inappropriate social media behaviour. The survey also uncovered that Gen X employees possessed more favourable work attitudes compared to Gen Y. SMEs gave Gen X a 12% higher rating for attendance, punctuality, willingness to work longer hours and work output quality, compared with their Gen Y counterparts.

Favourable job prospects for fresh graduates and diploma holders

83% of SMEs are currently looking to hire junior executives, followed by entry level (58%), then senior executives (40%), managers (24%) and lastly senior management (11%). Further to this, job prospects are especially favourable for new university graduates and diploma holders, with 66% and 75% of the SMEs surveyed looking to hire these candidates respectively.

Increase your chances of getting hired. Create a jobsDB profile

Increase your chances of getting hired. Update your jobsDB profile

SMEs uncertain on hiring foreigners

Almost half of the respondents (48%) expressed uncertainty towards hiring foreigners and only 24% said they were still open to it, despite the recent budget announcement delaying the slated increase to foreign worker levies.

According to the survey, the top reasons why SMEs preferred hiring foreigners were:

  • Willingness to work longer hours
  • Flexibility with compensation and salary
  • Highly trainable

The implementation of government initiatives such as the Fair Consideration Framework, has also given SMEs additional pressure to compete to attract local talent in an already tight labour market. In particular, the survey revealed that SMEs are looking to fill positions in sales (40%), administration / office support (31%), accounting, engineering (19%) and IT (18%).   

“There is no shortage of quality local candidates. It is a matter of local candidates with certain compensation expectations that at times do not match with what SME employers are able to pay for initially,” said Mr. Don Tock, Sales Director of Kuisine Catering.

With the recent announcement of the SkillsFuture initiative, SMEs can look forward to developing a highly skilled and innovative workforce with the new structured training programmes available to Singaporeans.  

“This initiative will definitely be helpful for Singaporeans in terms of boosting morale and further improving their skill sets. However, juggling between their current jobs and attending courses can be demanding and challenging,” added Mr. Tock.

“What we are hearing from SMEs is that the struggle to hire local talent is real. However, it is heartening to see the government introduce initiatives such as SkillsFuture to invest in the development of local talent. This provides local businesses an avenue to access, train and retain locals to help meet the growing demands of their businesses,” said Sheldon Fernandez, Managing Director of jobsDB Singapore.