HR top hits: What you shouldn’t miss this week
HR TOP HITS SALARY PROMOTION EDUCATION ECONOMY EXPATRIATION
Singapore - Singapore employers are offering job promotions without pay rises and hiring graduates from the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) at a lower pay, as the government warns of a tepid economic outlook over the next decade.
A Robert Half survey released this week revealed 68% of local HR managers admit they don’t give pay rises with promotions. Instead, more than half said they prefer to offer a performance bonus. Others said they prefer to offer more flexible working hours, while many also offer more annual leave in lieu of additional pay.
Figures indicated Singapore is the third most likely country in the world to offer employees higher positions without wage increases. The only two countries where the practice is more common are Chile (76%) and China (70%).
Meanwhile, a wage gap has been identified between graduates from SIM and their peers from publicly funded universities. The institution’s employment survey found while 90% of its graduates managed to find a job within six months of completing their course, with most receiving at least two offers, they were receiving monthly salaries of only S$2,400 to S$2,600.
This contrasts with the average monthly salary among graduates from the Singapore Management University (S$3,388), Nanyang Technological University (S$3,152) and the National University of Singapore (S$3,112).
Lee Kwok Cheong, CEO of SIM Global Education, said this discrepancy could be due to the fact that SIM is not a government institution, and that employers are unfamiliar with its model of education, which involves partnerships with foreign universities.
During his speech at the Economic Society of Singapore's annual dinner held last Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the country’s economic growth is likely to slow down over the next 10 years, as it develops further amid internal resources constraints and fierce competition from the region.
He warned a slow growth will mean fewer new investments for the country, which will result in higher unemployment rate as good jobs become harder to find.
"Enterprising and talented Singaporeans will be lured away by the opportunities and the incomes they can earn in other leading cities. Low-income workers will be hardest hit... Over time, our confidence will be dented," he said.
For the government to continue prioritising low-income citizens and improve the well-being of its people, Lee said they must strike a balance between raising social spending and taxes. He also pointed out there is no country in the world where the population gets smaller and incomes rise at the same time.
However, the cost of living in Singapore seems to be rising for expatriates, as the country moves up two places to sixth position in Mercer’s latest annual cost of living survey. The survey ranks 214 cities across five continents based on comparative cost measurements of over 200 items in each location, including transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
This year, Tokyo emerged as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, followed by Luanda, Angola (2nd), Osaka (3rd), Moscow (4th) and Geneva (5th). Five Asian cities ranked among the top 10 most expensive places for expats, including Singapore, Hong Kong (9th) and three Japanese cities Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya (10th).
At the other end of the scale, Pakistani port Karachi was named as the least expensive city, with living costs around three times cheaper than in Tokyo. Pakistani capital Islamabad ranked the second least expensive city, followed by Managua, Nicaragua.
Over in Australia, more offices are found to be installing sound systems playing ‘pink-noise’ - a variety of sounds which plays a soft whooshing noise over loudspeakers and have been specifically designed to match the frequency of the human voice to help employees concentrate better at work.
New studies have found distractions caused by cubicle offices can mean a 5% to 10% decline in an employee’s ability to read, write and carry out other tasks requiring efficient use of short-term memory, causing them to become less productive.
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