SINGAPORE – Job-seekers in Singapore are looking to get a 17 per cent bump in pay when they switch jobs, after averaging across industries and levels, said a report by RGF International Recruitment.

Its survey found financial compensation to be the driving factor for 61 per cent of job-seekers in Singapore, with 83 per cent of respondents saying they expect a salary increase.

After compensation, the next factors which drive job-seeking are working with “top calibre colleagues” (13.6 per cent) and career advancement opportunities (10.8 per cent).

The recruitment firm’s Talent in Asia report analysed 3,500 responses on hiring trends across 11 Asian countries and markets. The markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

When it comes to employers in Singapore, sentiment about business growth and hiring plans are “highly positive”. More than half or 57.9 per cent of local respondents have “aggressive hiring plans” in the coming year, the survey found..

That said, locating and attracting key talent is a “huge concern” for Singapore employers, with 84 per cent citing this as the biggest challenge they face. After that come culture mismatch at 12.4 per cent and having a low hiring budget (10 per cent).

In Singapore, the study found the healthcare and life sciences industry and the technology, Internet and telecommunications sector to be the “most desirable sectors” for job-seekers.

Globally, Singapore came ahead of China, the United States and Europe as the top location for global job-seekers to relocate to if given an option.

Singaporeans, however, are not keen on moving overseas – other than to China or Hong Kong for 21 per cent and 12 per cent of respondents respectively, the study found.

RGF International Recruitment Singapore managing director James Miles said the talent gap is still “acutely felt” by companies in Singapore and other markets.

“An inability to close this gap and explore innovative means of locating, attracting and retaining candidates with future-proofed skills could spell further difficulties for businesses, who might struggle to adapt and compete,” he added.