HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

35% of Singapore firms saw salary freezes in 2020: survey

One in four firms offered no increases in the past months.

Whilst salary remains a primary concern for 49% of employees and 58% of candidates in Asia, Singapore has seen salary freeze in 2020, with 35% of firms offering no increase, recruitment and human resources services provider Hays’ 2021 Asia Salary Guide report revealed.

Across Asia, 6% of companies didn’t raise pay, and this trend is expected carry on in 2021, with 37% of employers anticipating stasis and 4% forecasting decrement.

Since salary budgets would be tightened in 2021, recruitment funds would follow, with 36% of firms expecting staff numbers to increase. Some businesses (45%), however, anticipate headcounts to stay the same, with 54% in Singapore saying so.

Amidst the pandemic, 34% of employers in Asia have seen a surge in innovation over the past 12 months, with the numbers soaring to 37% in Singapore. Meanwhile, flexible working options have also been implemented (57% across Asia), with 71% of firms doing so in Singapore.

The survey also revealed that 67% of companies in Singapore would prefer candidates with hard skills once the hiring freezes thaw in the upcoming months. Employers would be looking for professionals with technical (67%), analytical (66%) and project (45%) skills.

“Despite the obvious hardships that we all faced last year, 55% of companies in Asia expect business activities to increase in 2021,” said Richard Eardley, managing director at Hays Asia. “Though this is a 4% drop on last year’s predictions, it shows a degree of confidence that if the corner has not yet been turned, it soon may be.”

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