Career Resources > Employer Of Choice Survey Highlights 2016

At the passing of the first quarter of 2016, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) urged Singapore job seekers to brace themselves for a tough year as overall workforce growth will remain weak and local employment market slows down.
The service sector may be the only optimistic field in the midst of this gloomy employment market, according to analyst. Sectors in community, social and personal services, hospitality-related services like F & B, Hotels and healthcare will continue to be in demand. Attracting the right talents to meet these labour intensive sectors become even more critical.

Running for ten consecutive years, the Employers of Choice survey 2016 by CareerBuilder Singapore, targeted at the local jobseekers (Singaporeans and Permanent Residents), aims to study their expectations of preferred employers amongst the public and private sectors, their preferred industries and their overall career aspirations.

Through the key findings in this report, we hope that it will be useful for employers to further understand the employment preferences of the Singapore’s workforce. In order that employers will strengthen their organisations’ branding to attract and retain the right talent to work and progress in their organisations over their competitors.


Survey Methodology

The Employers of Choice Survey 2016 by CareerBuilder Singapore is an online study conducted among 1,837 unique Singaporeans and Permanent Residents from the period of 26 March to 22 May,2016.
The rankings of the Employers of Choice 2016 is based on the unique vote count of each respondent who participated in this survey in the following categories – Private, Government/Government-Linked, Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) and Start-Ups, which is a newly added category this year.
The list of Employer of Choice 2016 is determined from a selected and recognised prelist of:

  •   • 332 Private-Sector Companies (including MNCs)
  •   • 131 Government/Government-Linked Organisations (also known as Public Sector/Services)
  •   • 75 Small-Medium Enterprises*
  •   • 50 Start-Ups

*Note that the SMEs which appeared in this category in 2015 could now have qualified in the Private sector either due to M & A or increase in capacity.




Employer Branding Remains Strong for The Top Organizations

For two consecutive years, Google remains the most preferred employer of choice in the private sector, followed by Singapore Airlines and then Changi Airport Group.

private employers of choice

With a steady growth and increasing interest in the travel and tourism industry, it is interesting to watch hospitality and tourism players Marina Bay Sands and Airbnb made it to the top 10 Employers of Choice for the first time.  

To further affirm the interest in hospitality and tourism industry, Singapore Tourism Board overtook their competitor to raise to top spot for being the most preferred employer of choice in the public sector/service. Following close behind in second place is Monetary Authority of Singapore, which was ranked first place in 2015. The Central Provident Fund Board’s ranking maintained its third place. Notably, Sentosa Development Corporation also squeezed into the Top 10.

government - linked employers of choice

These top organisations evidently show non-significant movement in their rankings; thus, suggesting that they have built relative strong employer branding over the years to sustain a competitive advantage. As such employer branding should be viewed as a necessary strategy and worthwhile investment for companies to adopt as it does deliver a long-lasting impact. With a good employer branding, not only will it improve the chances of attracting talents, it will also create a sense of loyalty among the current employees.

To determine the growing interest in the hospitality and tourism industry, we noted that WTS Travel & Tours also usurped the first place this year followed by Zouk Management and Timbre Group in the second and third places respectively. Within the Top 10 employers of choice for SMEs that closely relates to the hospitality-related industry includes: Jumbo Seafood, Chocz and Aalst Chocolate.

sme employers of choice


Job Security Has Become Increasingly Important in Today's Tough Economic Climate

With the slowing of the economy, 2016 will be a tough year with turbulent times ahead for Singapore employment market.  In such an economic climate where retrenchment is not uncommon, people are more concerned about their jobs. For the first time, employees ranked job security as the top trait in an Employer of Choice, with an average rating of 4.28 out of 5 and 87.6 per cent of the respondents indicating it as an important trait.  The traits of “offers good career growth and opportunities” and “offers attractive pay, bonuses and other monetary compensation” used to hold first and second importance for many years dropped to second and third places respectively in 2016’s survey.

top 5 attributes of what makes an employer of choice

We observed that in today’s context, pay and career prospects are no longer sufficient to be associated with a preferred employer of choice. Employers must therefore, not overlook the importance of providing employees with greater job security. Greater job security will definitely inject positive effects on the employees’ job performance; hence, increasing productivity to meet overall business objectives.




Singaporeans Are Generally More Open to Different Kinds of Employment

Aside from the mainstream type of employers of Multinational Companies (MNCs) and Government organisations, 58.9 per cent of Singaporeans indicated that they are interested in working in a start- up company. This is a good sign for the vibrant start-up landscape in Singapore named to be the number one spot for start-ups in South-east Asia.

Interested To Work For Start-Up Company

Start-Up Employers of choice

Voted as the most preferred start-up employer of choice is E-commerce company Carousell, coming in second place is online grocery company RedMart and in third place is Fintech company MoneySmart.

Some of the perceived reasons that draw people to work for a start-up company are the vast learning opportunities (82.2 per cent), the ability to be exposed to a wide spectrum of job roles (62.6 per cent), and to be able to work closely with a group of passionate and enthusiastic colleagues (60.8 per cent).


Top 5 Reasons To Work In A Start-Up Company

While most Singaporeans are interested in working for a start-up company, there are also others who are more cautious with this option. Given today’s economy outlook, 70.5 per cent of the respondents are concern about job security, which is consistent with the earlier point. Other reasons for being cautious about working for a start-up company include no proper work organisation and structure (47.9 per cent) and relative lower pay (41.4 per cent).  

Top 5 Reasons To Not Work In A Start-Up Company

To brace themselves for uncertain times in the employment landscape, besides considering working for a start-up, most Singaporeans are now more open to consider to freelance part-time (56.1 per cent) or full-time (10.4 per cent).

Interested And Consider To Do Freelance Work

Also with the possibility of annual increments being low or if they should lose their jobs, a high percentage of 76.8 per cent of those Singaporeans surveyed considered doing freelance work to earn some extra income. Other non-monetary reasons mentioned that they “wanted more freedom and flexibility in schedule” (52.9 per cent) and the thirst for greater exposure (33.4 per cent).

Top 5 Reasons To Do Freelance Work


Build Employer Branding Where Your Target Audiences Are

When asked where respondents learned about their preferred employers of choice, the top three sources are online channels with 42.4 per cent of the respondents indicated online job portals, 26.6 per cent of the respondents indicated online ads and 25 per cent of the respondents indicated web search results.

In this age and time where technology almost rules our daily routine and real-time information has become more critical, it is important that you are where your talents are. Traditional source of print media and broadcast media such as TV and radio may no longer be the most go-to channels.  These traditional channels may be costly and ROI may not be so easily measured.

Top 5 Sources For Learning About Preferred Employers Of Choice



CareerBuilder (Singapore) Pte Ltd is part of the leading human capital solutions provider, CareerBuilder. As a global leader in the human capital scene, CareerBuilder has presence in more than 60 markets and with more than 2,800 employees worldwide.

Today, our suite of offerings include our flagship career portal, JobsCentral, our niche portals BrightMinds, BrightSparks and JobsCentral Learning; including Talentstream Technologies, a holistic suite of recruitment software.

Other surveys we conduct include: 

JobsCentral Learning Survey

  •   • A study on private education preferences in Singapore
  •   • Targeted at course-seekers and job seekers who may be interested to pursue higher education

The BrightSparks Scholarships and Higher Education Survey

  •   • A measurement for scholarship, higher education and career preferences of potential scholarship recipients
  •   • Target GCE ‘A’ Level/IB Diploma graduates, final year polytechnic students and year 1 and 2 undergraduates

Survey Contacts:

Felise Chia (

This report is published by:
CareerBuilder (Singapore) Pte Ltd

78 Shenton Way, #09-01, Singapore 079120