Money trumps career development or company culture for ad industry job hoppers in Singapore


Source: Font Market Pulse Report

Money is the number one motivation for changing jobs among marketing, digital and creative agency executives in Singapore, and just under half of candidates surveyed by recruitment agency Font think they are not fairly paid in their current jobs.

Top considerations for a new jobOverall, a bigger salary trumps a better opportunity to develop a career or a good company culture, the study of 126 Singapore-based executives of varying seniority found.

Only just over a third said their company had drafted a career development plan for them, and 70 per cent said development opportunities were among their top considerations for a new job, after money.

Most women considered money as the top factor (89 per cent), while men typically looked for development opportunities (78 per cent).

Source: Font. Women's choices in pink, men's in blue

Source: Font. Women’s choices in pink, men’s in blue

The report suggests that client and agency employers in Singapore are not meeting the expectations of their staff in terms of salary and professional development, and there is a disconnect as to what employers claim they’re providing and what employees are getting.

Font survey: feel fairly remuneratedJust under half of employees said they receive regular bonuses, but just under three quarters of companies actually claimed to give them.

A third of employees said they get flexible working hours as part of a benefits package. Two thirds of companies said they offer this.

The benefits that Singapore marketers and agency executives say they get:

Benefits received

And the benefits Singapore companies claim to offer:

Benefits offered by companies

The benefits companies claim to offer

Only 46 per cent said they would recommend their friends or family to work where they work.

The report’s outlook for the sector reads: “With demand outstripping supply, salaries are on the rise. The issue for Singapore is whether these increases are sustainable, or whether they will have longer term impacts with businesses making the choice to set up teams in other more cost-effective locations.”

“However, price is only an issue if the value isn’t matched. Talent needs to be able to clearly demonstrate the value they will bring in order to command the increase, and understand they will be expected to deliver the levels a higher salary demands.”

The highest reported annual salary of Singaporeans surveyed is US$178,000 (at current prices), for an account manager role. That discipline is the best paid in Malaysia too, but for less (US$102,000 a year).

Creatives are the best paid in the industry in New Zealand, earning US$316,000 a year. Marketers are the most generously rewarded in Hong Kong, with the highest reported salary US$155,000.

Table Font recruitment

Source: Font. Salaries in current prices. Data cover Jan-Dec, 2014

The study also featuring companies’ staff retention rate for 2014. Not a single company reported no churn.

Staff retention rate

For the year ahead, most companies say they plan to hire more staff.

Outlook on permanent staff numbers for 2015

Outlook on permanent staff numbers for 2015

Singapore companies appear to have work to do to address the gender balance, with 15 per cent of respondents saying 5 per cent of less of senior positions are filled by women.

Gender equality

% of senior positions in companies made up of women

For the full report, which includes analysis of Hong Kong, New Zealand and Malaysia, click here.


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