October 2, 2017
  • 47% of young Singaporeans take between one to three months to find their first job after completing their studies
  • 30% quit in less than 12 months, with the majority citing professional growth, money and a change in career direction as reasons for shifting
  • One third of Singaporeans say a lack of mentorship was a key challenge in their first jobs, but 80% of employers feel they provide adequate support to young talent

Fresh graduates in Singapore expect swift professional development and the opportunity to earn higher wages within the first 12 months of their first jobs—or else they’ll jump ship.

However, employers are concerned that young local talent are too focused on money as a motivator, with 50% calling fresh graduates “unprofessional” by making the mistake of bringing up salary and compensation in the first job interview, rather than focusing on the job role and fit.

This new research by Monster.com has uncovered numerous mismatches between talent and employer expectations when it comes to the fresh graduate job seeker experience.

According to the survey of over 500 graduate talent and employers across Singapore, 30% of fresh graduates choose to leave their first job after less than year, citing a lack of professional development (67%) and a desire to earn more money (42%) as the main reasons – despite it taking 47% of them up to three months to get hired in the first place.

Across the region, 80% of employers believe their company provides sufficient support for fresh graduates to excel and grow – even though 37% admit most fresh graduates stay with them for no longer than two years.

However, young talent said some of their biggest challenges in their first jobs were around a lack of leadership and support transitioning into working life. While the majority said their biggest challenge was a lack of industry knowledge (61%), a lack of mentorship (34%) also played a big role in their decision to leave. Twenty-seven per cent said they didn’t think they “were fully prepared for work life”, while 25% struggled with long work hours, and 23% said they lacked enough feedback and support from direct managers to succeed.

“There are two interesting aspects to consider here. Clearly young talent expect to move quickly in their first jobs – they want promotions and pay rises, and they crave the leadership and support necessary to get there. While this could be a call for employers to take note and act quickly to retain young high potential talent, it’s also a wake up call to fresh graduates to give themselves time to fully grow into a role and figure out where their strengths lie,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com – APAC and Middle East.

“The majority of employers are in agreement that young local talent have unrealistic expectations when it comes to salaries and pace of growth, but many might be failing to realise just how big a consideration money is. To overcome this, a strong onboarding process is needed to manage expectations, as well as a structure around training, learning and development to ensure young talent feel they are being invested in, and that they are considered an important part of the company’s future.”

The survey also asked job seekers and employers about the biggest mistakes made during job interviews, and what hiring managers actually care about reading on a CV.

Across the region, 67% of employers say they spend less than three minutes reading any given CV – 50% spend 1-3 minutes scanning it, while 17% will only glance at your resume for less than 60 seconds.

When considering a CV, employers care most about any experience a seeker might have that is relevant to the role (68%), followed by qualifications and education (58%) and ensuring the resume is well-written and easy to read (45%). Interestingly, they don’t care much about proper spelling and grammar (11%), links to your portfolio of work (8%) or any volunteer experience you might have (5%).

Singaporean job seekers agree that the hardest part of writing a CV is tailoring it to a specific role (26%). When it comes to job interview mistakes, 60% of Singaporeans say not asking questions is their biggest regret, following by not doing enough research on the company (51%). Just 10% believed focusing too much on salary discussion was a mistake. In a bid to uncover what both fresh graduate job seekers and employers expect from the hiring process, Monster Singapore has launched the #MyFirstJob campaign to provide insights and awareness around graduate recruitment.

Nearly​ ​Half​ ​of​ ​Singaporean​ ​Fresh​ ​Grads​ ​take​ ​up​ ​to​ ​Three​ ​Months​ ​to​ ​Find Their​ ​First​ ​Job​-art-revised