One-third of Southeast Asian employees looking for new job

3 in 4 say they're approached multiple times per year about new opportunities

One-third of Southeast Asian employees looking for new job

Workers across Southeast Asia are on the lookout for new job opportunities as they remain confident in their appeal to employers.

A study by SEEK, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and The Network surveyed a total of 97,324 respondents in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to get an assessment of the job market amid fears of a recession.

It found that 34% of the respondents are looking for a new job, because they are:

  • Looking for a more interesting position or higher seniority (49%)
  • Lacking opportunities for upward career progress at current workplace (30%)
  • Unsatisfied with salary and benefits at current job (27%)

This confidence in switching employers comes as 74% of the respondents revealed that they are approached multiple times per year about new job opportunities, while 70% said they believe they are in a strong negotiating position when looking for a new job, according to the report.

This jobseeker-leaning market despite anticipated recession is present due to many employers still recovering jobs lost during the pandemic, said Peter Bithos, chief executive officer, Asia, SEEK.

"While hiring growth may slow down during times of uncertainty, there is no doubt that it is still a jobseekers' market right now, and so it's important for employers to know how to attract, recruit, and retain talent," Bithos said in a media release.

How to recruit talent

With employers searching for different skills, Bithos stressed that those who want to attract great talent must cater to the needs for the workforce. But these needs are also changing, according to the CEO, as the market is in "The Great Reconfiguration," where employees are reconfiguring their work and personal lives.

The report reflects this trend - as it found that 71% of Southeast Asian and Hong Kong workers desire a stable job with a good work-life balance.

Their deal breakers when looking for a new role include work-life balance (17%) as second to financial compensation (22%). Paid time off and job security, meanwhile, both placed third, according to the report.

"Most jobseekers don't want to live to work anymore – they want to work to live. Employers must understand that while a high salary may be a way to raise the attention of in-demand talent, money is not enough to retain them on the long run. A culture that supports work-life balance, allows for flexibility, and emphasises good workplace relationships is equally important," said Sagar Goel, Partner and Associate Director at BCG.

Recruitment experience

To further bolster recruitment process, the report found that a "smooth and timely process" is the best way for an employer to stand out during recruitment, according to the report.

The best way jobseekers get interested in a role is through a friend recommendation, it added. But once interested, these jobseekers will look further information through social media and company websites.

Personal interactions were also more favoured over AI-led automated interviews during the recruitment process, especially for younger jobseekers, according to the report.

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