CAREER EXPERT feat Chris Mead | Issue 49 of HEADHUNT

Dear Chris,

Firstly, thank you to Hays for providing the latest Salary Guide, it’s a great resource. It indicates many employers will award salary increases this  year. I operate a relatively new business and am looking for alternative strategies to retain and attract staff. Do you have any advice?


Dear Pearline,

As market conditions continue to improve, employers will be actively recruiting so competition for the best talent will become increasingly fierce.  Therefore careful management of salaries will be a prominent issue, among manager jobs, director jobs and even for rank and file positions.

The good news is there are other strategies you can implement.

We recently conducted an online poll which asked jobseekers what is most important to them in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis.

We found  that career progression was considered most important by 42.73 percent of jobseekers. It was ahead of long-term job security, which  was rated as most important by 35.76 percent of jobseekers. Salary was most important for 21.51 percent. 

They are now aware of    rising vacancy activity and are more strategic in their job search. They are thinking of their long-term career  progression once more. Offering  training and development to staff shows you are committed to their development.

Individuals, teams and organisations will all benefit as it provides people with the skills and knowledge to perform new jobs. Teams and groups  also work better as there are more opportunities for knowledge sharing. To maximise the benefits of training and development, make it available  to all staff and personalise it according to roles, responsibilities and future goals.

Offering flexible working arrangements, such as location and the hours staff work, will also aid your company in attracting and retaining staff.  This will also increase productivity due to work/life balance.

But it’s not a surprise that job security still rates highly. Some jobseekers have told us  it has been a challenge to regain their confidence and  enter the job market again. For these candidates in particular, a role with a company that can provide long-term stability and security is very  important.

It is however important to recognise staff for their hard work and commitment. If you’re not in a position to provide a pay increase just yet,  bonuses are an alternative to motivate and reward employees.

Finally, your people are your competitive advantage so pay attention to what’s happening in your industry. Making sure you’re aware of what  your competitors are doing and benchmarking your HR management strategies against leading companies will help you make smarter decisions.

I  hope this advice helps. Make sure you read our industry update at the beginning of each quarter. This will give you a good overview what’s happening in the employment market at that time.

Chris Mead
General Manager
HAYS Singapore

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