PRMMS Hero 2024
marketing interactive Digital Marketing Asia Singapore 2024 Digital Marketing Asia Singapore 2024
Are marketers in Singapore joining the great resignation?

Are marketers in Singapore joining the great resignation?

share on


Three quarters (75%) of Sales and Marketing professionals in Singapore are looking to change jobs within the next year according to Robert Walter's latest "The Great Resignation’ wave impacting companies and professionals in South East Asia?" report. This is well ahead of the general trend in Singapore that had an average 67%.

“Most professionals in the marketing, digital space have thought about moving jobs this year, as seen with the influx of roles in the market since the country’s re-opening," said LingXiang Lee, principal consultant of Robert Walters sales and marketing division in Singapore in a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. "They have however thought twice about moving and most are particular about the type of role and industry they’re moving into," Lee added. 

According to the findings of from Robert Walters more sales and marketing professionals (81%) have thought of resigning over the past year compared to Singapore's average (80%), while 41% of them didn’t eventually resign, compared to Singapore's average (36%).


Moreover, according to the survey 50% of Singapore professionals have not followed through with resigning because they had not found a suitable job.

In marketing and advertising space 67% of sale and marketing professionals said they are uncomfortable leaving their roles without another job lined up – compared to the country average of 64%.

"Candidates in this space are most keen to move only if there is a significant increase in salaries and hence end up staying in their jobs when they receive a counter offer – similar to what we have observed in the survey results as well," said Lee. "They also prioritise a balance in hybrid arrangements – most of the candidates have asked for more flexible work arrangements. They are therefore more open to changing their minds about resigning if flexible work arrangements are made and they are able to have open and clear conversations around their career progression."

As a result, digital marketing, content and communications roles are some of the hardest to recruit for at the moment. Largely exceeding the broad Singapore trends, 97% of sales and marketing professionals have re-looked at their relationship with work over the past year – compared to Singapore's average of 87%.


Southeast Asia trends

The wave of the ‘Great Resignation’ may not be a total reality in Southeast Asia, according to the survey that showed overall professionals are valuing job security during uncertain times, with more than half (59%) indicating that they are uncomfortable to quit without a new job in hand, and 81% of those who have thought of resigning willing to change their minds, if conditions are right.

Hiring new talent will remain challenging in Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore, which saw 86% of companies finding difficulty to do so in the past year. Moreover, there is a perception gap on retention efforts, as 40% of professionals in the region claimed they are not aware of “changes” by their employers to engage and bridge their concerns.

While 79% of the professionals surveyed had the intention to resign in 2021, close to half (42%) have yet to do so. Malaysia saw the most professionals (82%) who had thought of resigning in the past year, followed by Singapore (80%) and Thailand (80%). Job security proved most important for Singapore, which saw the highest number of professionals (64%) who are uncomfortable leaving their job without a new one lined up.

“Rather than a ‘Great Resignation’, businesses can expect an accelerated hiring market across Southeast Asia in the coming year," said Gerrit Bouckaert, managing director, SEA, Robert Walters. "Professionals are not quitting on a whim, but rather, they are looking to move between jobs. In the face of a possible recession, we expect more cautious professionals, who would only move when they have another job offer on hand.”

Top reasons that employees have stayed on include not having found the most suitable job (50%), uncertainty over the new workplace’s culture and suitability (29%), and concerns over the new company’s job security (28%).

Colleagues and culture that inspire employees to do their best are what professionals value most in an employer, according to one in two respondents (48%). This ranked above compensation and benefits (47%) as well as flexible work arrangements (42%).


For those who are considering a resignation, 80% of them are open to changing their minds if conditions are right.

Salaries continue to play a pivotal role in reversing the decision, with the top factors being salary increments (45%), promotions (28%) and a change in job responsibilities (25%).

To retain staff, employers have taken significant measures, including offering greater flexibility and remote/hybrid work arrangements (64%), matching or increasing salaries (54%), and providing training and upskilling opportunities (49%). However, 45% of the professionals interviewed said they were not aware of changes made by their employers, signaling a potential gap in communicating these initiatives. The biggest challenges employers face when sourcing staff are overly high salary and benefit expectations (68%), high competition for candidates (45%), and the lack of industry experience (42%).


About nine in ten (87%) employees shared that they have reassessed their relationship with work over the past year. Key areas include their mental and physical well-being (73%), time spent with family and friends (69%), and the meaning/fulfillment of their jobs (67%).

Related articles:

Digital marketing professionals high in demand amidst SG talent crunch
Is the talent crunch leading to a massive outsourcing in ad agencies?
Cooking up creativity: How creative leaders can harness the potential of diverse talent

share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window