Considering A New Employer

If you’re not satisfied with your current role and considering moving on, what should you look out for in your next employer?

One in five Singapore workers surveyed by recruitment firm KellyOCG in March 2023 reported that he or she is likely to leave the current company within the next 12 months.

In the study of 4,200 workers across 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States, almost three in 10 workers – or 28 per cent – said they were very likely to leave their jobs within the year.

The first thing to look out for in your next job is how good the prospective employer is in terms of staff-related policies.

Good employers prioritise creating a healthy and inclusive work environment for employees to thrive in, said Mr Peter Hamilton, vice-president and managing director for the Asia-Pacific at KellyOCG.

This means having a good, clear reporting process when it comes to discrimination, harassment or toxic behaviour in the workplace, he said.

In the survey, four in 10 of those who expressed their desire to leave their jobs within 12 months also reported facing non-inclusive behaviour in their current company.

Mr Hamilton said good employers also actively support talent development and growth.

“Considering the demanding and constantly evolving nature of the workforce, good employers are those who are willing to upskill their workforce to meet the ever-evolving business goals.

“For example, these leaders proactively identify areas with skill gaps and reallocate talent to address those gaps or opt to hire contingent talent to bridge the missing skills.”

Good employers also show empathy for their employees, providing fair compensation for their skills, experience, and contributions, particularly in the light of the rising cost of living, he added.

To make an accurate judgment of how good a prospective employer is likely to be, it is crucial to ask the right questions during the interview, especially those about company culture, Mr Hamilton said.

If you are currently facing poor work-life balance and would like a change, ask questions such as “What does a typical workday look like?” and “What benefits do you have that focus on work-life balance?”

Mr Hamilton added: “To avoid joining an organisation that neglects employee development, it is essential to inquire about the existing initiatives supporting professional growth.”

Additionally, do your own research by reading online reviews about the employer or reach out to past and current employees for their first-hand experience.

“As part of your research, you should also read up on publicly available reports such as annual reports or other reports, such as those on (the employer’s) environmental, social and corporate governance, which will give you a good sense of the business performance and priorities.

“Following the company’s social media pages is also a good start to understand more about their ongoing activities such as their employee engagement activities and overall company culture.”

The job search aside, you should not resign right away upon feeling dissatisfaction, Mr Hamilton cautioned, as employers might not be aware of your predicament.

Instead, engage in open discussions with your manager before jumping, because honest conversations can prompt a re-evaluation of existing practices causing this dissatisfaction.

To determine whether it is the right time to leave, employees can consider whether the company is genuinely listening to their feedback or just paying lip service to it, said Mr Hamilton.

They should also ask themselves if the employer cares about their mental health and work hours, which are key determinants of well-being at work.

“Additionally, it is essential to assess whether there are still viable growth opportunities available with your current employer,” he said.

“Ask yourself: do I feel empowered to build my career path here? Do I have opportunities to join a different department or switch projects to gain new skill sets?”

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.