HeadHunt - In the News - 12 Jan

Good News as Wages are Set to Rise This Year
Singaporean employees in certain sectors can expect to see a wage growth of between 5 to 10 percent this year due to a drive in broad-based hiring.

According to analysts, wage increases are likely to be seen in the service and financial sectors, where manpower crunch is most acute.

Speaking to local media, Standard Chartered Bank’s economist, Alvin Liew, said the country’s services sector is experiencing a four-year record high in vacancies due to a rise in demand from strong visitor arrivals, as well as changes in government policies towards the influx of foreign workers.

Recently, the local Minister of Manpower reported an increase of 21,300 workers in the services sector in the third quarter of 2010.

Part-time Work Most Common Fexi-work Arrangement in Singapore

Singapore - Compassionate, marriage and paternity leave are just some of the more common benefits given to employees these days.

In a recent Conditions of Employment survey conducted by the Manpower Ministry, it found that more organisations are also offering some form of flexi-work arrangements such as parttime work and staggered hours. Approximately 30 percent of the 3,400 companies surveyed said they offer part-time work.

The next most common programme was staggered hours at 6.5 percent. Approximately 6.3 percent of companies also offer flexi-time, with tele-working also being offered by 2.8 percent of companies.

However, the survey found that the majority 60 percent of employees did not receive more than 15 days of paid annual leave in 2010. This remained unchanged from the last 2008 survey. On the other hand, only 10 percent of Singapore employees received over 21 days of annual leave.

Negotiating For Higher Pay?

Preparation is Key
US - Nearly half (45%) of 2,400 hiring managers in the United States say they would be happy to negotiate salary packages with employees this year.

According to a CareerBuilder survey released late 2010, hiring managers said they would be most open to negotiations when employees highlighted their specific accomplishments and achievements (48%). Thirty-nine percent also said they would negotiate if employees knew the range of salary they wanted and had strong justifi cation for the increase.

Additionally, 37 percent said they would consider an increase if employees “show an understanding of what is important to the company”.

Other than monetary rewards, 42 percent said they would consider providing employees with more flexible work hours. Training was also another popular perk cited by 23 percent. An increase in vacation time and academic reimbursement were also perks employer said they were willing to offer.

SingPost Branches Out Overseas in Search of Mailmen

Singapore - Recruitment for mailmen is an ongoing challenge for Singapore Post, the company recently announced.

SingPost added that this challenge could be due to the physically-demanding nature of the job. The company also saw a rising attrition rate in the second half of 2010. In the past two months, its attrition rate stood at about 15 percent, said the Vice President of SingPost’s Corporate Communications.

In a recent recruitment drive, the organisation garnered a total of ten applicants for the mailman’s position. The company may look to other countries such as Malaysia, China and the Philippines to find suitable employees to join its1,000-strong postmen headcount.

Robots Can Now Replace Your Presence in the Office

Global - If you’re dreading the thought of heading to the office, why not send a remote-controlled robot to take your place instead?

The idea of a robot avatar is already a reality for employees in US and Japan. One Californian company, Anybots, even recently launched its QB officebot, which looks like a small Segway vehicle with a robot head on top.

The bot can be controlled by another person via a web browser. Its camera eyes allow the person to navigate while a small LCD screen on the head means that colleagues can see the person on the other end too.

Trevor Blackwell of Anybots says using a robot body allows people to move around the bot in a relatively normal way. And while it might feel strange talking to the robot at first, people will get around the obstacle relatively quickly, he adds.

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