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Media Release


Hudson research highlights leadership gap in Singapore

Improved leadership and management capabilities, and higher salaries, essential for retaining top talent

Singapore – 7 JANUARY, 2014 – Global talent solutions company Hudson today announced the findings of their annual Singapore remuneration report Salary & Employment Insights 2014. The report revealed that 40% of workers have changed jobs in the last two years, and 71.4% are looking for a job at the moment, highlighting a possibly significant increase in intentions to change jobs.

The findings demonstrate the importance that Singapore workers place on strong leadership, and that there is a gap in the quality of the managerial leadership in their organisations. This, and the desire to earn higher wages, are the primary drivers for Singaporeans to look for new jobs in the coming year.

The importance of effective and inspiring leadership is clear. The survey showed that 56.8% of employees rated the quality of their current manager as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while 43.2% rated their current manager as being ‘average’, ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Over two-thirds (68.3%) of the professionals surveyed have left a job because of a poor manager, 63.3% are currently thinking about leaving their job because of their poor manager and 46% of those that currently have a poor manager are actively looking for a new job because of it.

Almost three-quarters (74.3%) would reject a job offer if they felt the quality of their manager was below average. 60.4% of managers also cited that they would prefer to take leadership training in place of a standard pay rise.

Conversely, the report shows that strong leadership positively impacts engagement, productivity and is a great retention tool in a climate where there is significant fluidity in the workforce. 41.7% of employees plan to stay in their current role because of the quality of their manager, with 39.2% saying their productivity has increased as a result of having a quality manager and 70.0% feeling motivated and engaged because of their manager.

“There is a potentially significant issue regarding the need for more effective leadership within Singaporean organisations,” said Andrew Tomich, Executive General Manager, Hudson Singapore. “It’s clear that strong leadership impacts engagement, driving productivity and increased employee retention. This is something that should not be ignored, particularly in a climate where there is increasingly high potential for movement within the workforce.

“Our findings clearly demonstrate that the workforce is willing to move, and move quickly. The impact to the business and cost of replacing, training and up-skilling new workers is likely to be much higher than retaining and developing staff that are already performing well; particularly when high performing individuals leave the business.”

There is clear feedback regarding what employees view as the most important qualities required of a leader, with all respondents citing:

  • Treats staff fairly (67.2%)
  • Is supportive of staff (65.1%)
  • Provides clear and transparent communication (57.5%)
  • Has a clear vision of what to achieve (45.9%)

The report also indicates that employers are aware of the leadership shortcoming; with one-third (36.7%) saying they don’t have the training they require to successfully perform a leadership role, and one-third (32.5%) saying they don’t have any budget allocated towards their professional development.

Respondents also indicated that further leadership coaching and training would deliver positive business results, including:

  • Increased individual productivity (78.6%)
  • Increased productivity of team / direct reports (64.8%)
  • Increase in motivation of team (51.6%)
  • Improved retention rate of direct reports (31.2%)

Salary expectations are the other key driver affecting the big increase in intentions for employees to change jobs. 86.0% of employees expect an increase in salary next year, with 19.4% wanting an increase in excess of 10%. Salary is clearly the most influential factor when looking for a new job, with 43.3% citing it as the most important aspect, followed by working for an organisation with values the employee believes in (10.3%). Salary is also a major influencing factor when an employee is deciding whether to stay in their current role for the next 12 months, with 30.7% citing increased salary/benefits as most important, behind a clear career path, and prospect of promotion (36.9%).

In terms of the broader employment outlook for Singapore, Hudson today also announced the findings of its long-standing quarterly Hudson Report: Employment Trends Q1 2014, which highlights some tightening in the labour market, with 39.5% of employers intending to increase headcount this quarter, down 4.3 percentage points (pp). At the same time expectations to decrease headcount have risen 2.9pp to 7.3%. 53.2% of employers intend to keep headcount steady, up 0.5pp. This is the second successive quarter where there has been downward movement in the overall hiring outlook, with Banking and Financial Services being the only industry to demonstrate an increase in positive hiring expectations.

“While overall employment expectations in Singapore remain optimistic it does suggest that businesses are trying to grow while paying great attention to cost containment, which is putting pressure on wages,” said Tomich.

“Looking at the findings from both reports together, they indicate there is fluidity in the market and both employers and employees are expecting change. However, businesses must remain focused on nurturing workforces capable of supporting business growth. Retaining and recruiting high performers and high potential individuals that add real value to business productivity is key to driving competitiveness in today’s market.

“Job change is on the mind of most people as they battle rising living costs and seek remuneration for taking on greater responsibilities in today’s tougher climate. Those organisations that don’t invest in their workforce, both in terms of remuneration and effective leadership and mentoring, put themselves at risk.

“We could well see growing separation between successful and less successful organisations, primarily influenced by their attention to, and investment in, correctly resourcing their business and developing their staff,” said Tomich.


Editor Note

Please contact us for more information, print-ready graphs or to arrange an interview.

Hudson has changed its reporting to achieve greater transparency and consistency across markets. This makes it simpler to compare results and geographical variations. From now on, Hudson will report on three findings: the percentage of employers intending to increase staffing levels, those intending to maintain them and those intending to decrease headcount. 'Intention to hire' refers to the proportion of employers intending to hire more employees during the forthcoming quarter. Hudson will no longer use the 'net effect' figure.

About Hudson

Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialised recruitment, contracting solutions, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management, outplacement and eDiscovery. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. With more than 2,000 people in 20 countries, and relationships with millions of specialised professionals, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at

About The Salary & Employment Insights Report

The Salary & Employment Insights 2014 Report provides detailed analysis of the salary and employment insights of employers and employees for many of Singapore’s industries, including specific skills in demand, market and industry trends, industry-specific candidate motivations and salary guidelines. Those industries covered include Accounting & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Human Resources, IT&T, Legal, Manufacturing & Industrial, Sales, Marketing & Communications and Supply Chain & Procurement.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that the company believes to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, including statements regarding the company's future financial condition, results of operations, business operations and business prospects, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “predict,” “believe” and similar words, expressions and variations of these words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to important factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including industry and economic conditions' that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Such factors, risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, global economic fluctuations; risks related to fluctuations in the company's operating results from quarter to quarter; the ability of clients to terminate their relationship with the company at any time; competition in the company's markets; risks associated with the company's investment strategy; risks related to international operations, including foreign currency fluctuations; the company's ability to implement cost reduction initiatives effectively, including the recently announced restructuring programme; the company's dependence on key management personnel; the company's ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals; risks in collecting the company's accounts receivable; the negative cash flows and operating losses that the company has experienced from time to time in the past may reoccur in the future; restrictions on the company's operating flexibility due to the terms of its credit facilities; the company's heavy reliance on information systems and the impact of potentially losing or failing to develop technology; risks related to our dependence on uninterrupted service to clients; the company's exposure to employment-related claims from both clients and employers and limits on related insurance coverage; volatility of the company's stock price; the impact of government regulations; and restrictions imposed by blocking arrangements. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. The company assumes no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.

Hudson Global Resources (Singapore) Pte Ltd
EA Licence Number: 03C4590