SINGAPORE - More than four out of five, or 82 per cent, of overseas Singaporeans are keen to return and work at home, with half of them expecting a salary increase of at least 15 per cent when they return.
The figures were released in the latest annual Global Salary Survey from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters.
The survey, which polled about 700 Singaporeans working abroad, found that besides a pay raise, overseas Singaporeans also listed other employment benefits, including clear career progression, relocation allowance, as well as flexible work arrangements, as factors that motivated them to return.
Mr Toby Fowlston, Managing Director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia, said at a media briefing on Thursday that nine in 10 employers saw the recruitment of returning Singaporeans as a viable solution to the present talent crunch.
He explained that returning Singaporeans were attractive to employers here due to their international exposure, multilingual skills, global mindset and an understanding of the local market.
However, only one out of five businesses are willing to offer returning Singaporeans the 15 per cent salary increment they ask for.
"There remains a gap between employees' expectations and what employers are willing to offer," Mr Fowlston said.
He added that: "As organisations vie for the best Singaporean professionals, the hiring landscape in 2016 will be candidate driven. To gain an edge in talent attraction and retention, companies need to look beyond offering attractive salary packages."
Robert Walters' survey also found that higher levels of recruitment were expected in 2016 due to growing business confidence, even though salaries are expected to remain relatively flat.
However, it said that specialists in niche areas could expect possible increases of between 10 and 20 per cent.
Looking across sectors, the recruitment firm expects the information technology (IT) industry to be one of the most active areas of recruitment in the year ahead.
Mr Sam Randall, Manager for Financial Services Technology at Robert Walters Singapore, told AsiaOne that demand was expected to be strong within the IT industry in the areas of financial services, e-commerce and cyber security.
"Cyber security professionals are increasingly in demand, particularly by larger organisations such as banks, as they continue to seek ways to minimise the vulnerabilities their services face from cyber crime and hacking and improve their regulatory technology," he highlighted.
Mr Randall added that Singapore remains slightly behind in the e-commerce and online business market, resulting in a need for IT professionals who have expertise in financial services, user-experience and mobile application development.