The accrual of up to six months of potential bonuses is not stopping candidates from entering the jobs market in search of a role that can deliver career development and progression, says recruiting expert Hays.

That is one finding from the recently released Hays Quarterly Report, for the July-to-September quarter, which points to an active candidate market in Singapore.

Usually the potential impact of walking away from over six months of accrued bonus has a huge bearing on a candidate’s decision to change jobs in the second half of the year.

But this year, according to Hays, candidates are more accepting of the reality that bonuses are not what they once were. They are also increasingly motivated to look for a role offering career progression or broader job responsibilities.

As a result, the candidate market remains active, although candidates will typically wait for a role that ticks all their boxes, particularly in relation to career development and progression.

Job seekers are also increasingly looking to expand their skills and expertise on exciting new projects. They want to work on the signature projects within their field or with the global powerhouses of their industry.

There has also been a spike in candidates with transferrable skills, such as in the call centre market, wanting to try different industries to broaden their skill set.

Be realistic about salary expectations

Candidates whose motivations are purely financial and who are asking for above-market salary increases find that employers are passing them by in favour of candidates with more realistic salary expectations.

So while the market is short of candidates for most sectors outside financial services, and skilled professionals are in demand, employers will not rush to employ a candidate whose financial expectations are too high.

As well as maintaining realistic salary expectations, Hays also advises candidates to prepare before they enter the jobs market.

Some candidates are failing to research an organisation before an interview — an essential task if you are to demonstrate how your skills and experience suit the needs of the hiring business.

Employers are still very conscious of making sure candidates are the right fit and want the role for the right reasons. Research enables you to provide relevant examples that show you are the right fit for them.