60% of Singapore workers seek new employment during working hours

Respondents to Randstad survey admitted to searching for new jobs or speaking with recruiters while at work.
By: | March 23, 2020
Topics: News | Singapore

Removed from guilt, some Singapore workers have actively searched for new career opportunities or spoken with a recruiter during working hours. In the “Unapologetic Employees and Job Seekers” online survey commissioned by Randstad Singapore and conducted by YouGov Singapore, 60% of 1,056 local-based respondents admitted seeking pastures new while still being actively employed. More pertinently perhaps, 49% do not find that their actions constitute to any wrongdoing.

On their part, employers need to recognise that when employees are set on resigning, they tend to demonstrate lower levels of loyalty and engagement, said Jaya Doss, managing director, Singapore and Malaysia at Randstad. “There are tell-tale signs of disengaged employees, such as poorer productivity and absence from corporate social events. If companies want to have a highly-committed workforce, they need to engage employees right from the start and stay the course.”

Doss went on to identify push factors for resignation as low salary, poor leadership or toxic company culture, and urged employers to make efforts to track and understand these reasons, before offering the right solutions to retain staff.

Job seekers also tend to feel less guilty for taking a phone interview with a recruiter or an interviewer during working hours, as this is perceived as being less serious than face-to-face. In the recent Randstad survey, more than 1 in 3 respondents had taken a call from a recruiter at work (35%) or browsed for jobs on their personal mobile phones (36%) during working hours. 35% had even taken time off from work to attend interviews outside of lunch time, while 21% had attended job interviews during lunch time.

This trend, however, is beginning to shift, as more employers and candidates choose phone and video interviews as part of preventative measures against the COVID-19 outbreak. Doss explained, “Digital modes of interviews would have a higher weightage and more candidates are beginning to take them more seriously. [However], while it is possible to conduct the entire interview via phone and video calls, many Asian employers would still want to meet the final shortlist face-to-face to determine personality and culture fit before coming to a decision.”