Work-life balance preference is now at an all-time high | Singapore Business Review

Work-life balance preference is now at an all-time high

Job seekers are considering more than just salary.

Salary and benefits have long been the single most important factor for employees when looking for jobs and the results from Randstad’s recent Employer Brand Research for 2017 largely reflect that. However, Randstad’s results have surprisingly revealed that it no longer holds the solid lead it once had. Even though most employees in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia still have a high preference for good salary and benefits when looking for an employer, work-life balance is rapidly rising in importance to the point that it’s become the second most important factor on average.

In both Singapore and Hong Kong, salary and work-life balance were separated by just a few percentage points when in previous years the gap was as high as 16%, and in Malaysia the gap closed by 10%. Hong Kong employees aged 25 to 44 even managed to break all previous records and set a new standard by placing work-life balance as the number one most attractive attribute over salary and benefits.

“It’s no secret that work-life balance has been of growing importance for employees around the world. However, the region has always had a much higher importance placed on salary and benefits. This year is the first time that we are noticing such a major shift in sentiment, so much so that Hong Kong employees aged 25 to 44 preferred work-life balance over salary and benefits. This once again highlights the extreme importance of keeping the dialogue between organizations and employees open, honest and frequent,” said Michael Smith, managing director of Randstad Singapore.

Job security also jumped in the rankings to become the third most important attractiveness factor in Singapore and Hong Kong, knocking down the sought after attribute of pleasant working atmosphere, which dropped substantially. Randstad notes that this is likely due to global economic uncertainty and news of retrenchments throughout last year

“The results of the Randstad Employer Brand Research are a timely reminder for businesses to remain vigilant and always monitor and manage their employer brands to attract and retain the best talent in an environment where preferences evolve at a rapid pace,” said Smith.


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