There have been several awards recently for the Best Employer in Singapore, most celebrating different winners. Obviously each has their own criteria they have drawn on, but I wanted to see who the Best Employer in Singapore was through the lens of a recruiter, or rather, this recruiter, me.
The View of a Recruiter
When a candidate tells me that they want to leave their job I always reflect on the company they are working for – are there a lot of employees who also want to leave? Is this a trend? For me, the worst company would be the one that has the highest percentage of employees who want to leave it, and conversely the best company would have the lowest percentage of employees who would want to leave. With LinkedIn’s Recruiter platform we are able to search for the total number of employees in the company for a given location as well as the number of employee’s who have selected “Open to Work”. What most people don’t realise is that once selected, the Open to Work option only stays active for three months, so the data that is presented is very recent. Also, LinkedIn frequently shares that Singapore has the highest penetration of LinkedIn users anywhere in the world - I personally put this down to residents in Singapore, locals and expats alike being kiasu. However, this fact (penetration of LinkedIn users, not Singapore residents being kiasu) means that the data is also very reliable.
First thing to note, this is a bit of light hearted fun, I don’t pretend to be a statistician, data scientist, or even a half decent Excel user, this is more of a personal interest to see how much the employees of the apparent Best Employers in Singapore actually want to be with their employers. What I have done is taken the top 100 companies that appeared in the The Straits Times list and analysed how many employees there are in Singapore and how many of these employees were Open to Work as at 24 May 2021. In order to get a decent sample size I have only included companies where there are at least 100 employees on LinkedIn in Singapore, so I have removed 13 companies from my results. However, I have also had to remove Starbucks and McDonalds from the analysis due to the overwhelming amount of dormant accounts on the platform which would massively skew the numbers. But like I said, it’s not meant to be a scientific analysis.
I am very pleased to announce that DHL is the inaugural winner of Elliott Scott HR’s Best Employer in Singapore!
What is interesting is that greatplacestowork.com.sg also named DHL as their Best Employer Singapore winner. For their methodology,
greatplacestowork.com.sg stated that 85% of “evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do” and from what I can observe, this translates nicely into employees wanting to stay with a company.
When I initially announced last week that I would be analysing the Straits Times list I noted a few companies that I wasn’t quite expecting to be there. Firstly, I mentioned the American International School which came 4th in ST’s list, although I did note that they appeared at #7 in ST’s previous year’s rankings. However, in the Elliott Scott rundown the American International School came in 5th, so I genuinely think this reflects that it is a good place to work. Similarly, I noted that Barclays comes in 6th on the ST list for 2021, having not appeared at all on the top 150 in ST’s 2020 ranking. But in Elliott Scott’s rundown, Barclays comes in 8th, so again proving that there is a correlation between the Straits Times findings and their employees not looking to move.
Conversely, the other outlier was Sunray Woodcraft Construction who came in 10th on the Straits Times list but on the Elliott Scott ranking it appears much lower at 68th (out of 85) which is closer to what you would probably assume given it’s lack of visibility as a big name MNC.
So what happened to the Big Tech companies that featured so high on the ST rankings? Interestingly none of them faired as well. Indeed Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google were all definitely mid to bottom table with Google, the Number 1 company on Straits Times list coming in at #64 on the Elliott Scott ranking. Evidently it appears that a fair percentage of employees from the FAANGs are actively looking. Does this mean that these companies are not the best employers in Singapore? Not so in my book. So what is going on here? Is it a case of the grass is greener on the other side? Has Covid meant that with work from home the benefits of working in a funky office are not as great? This clearly would need more thorough analysis which I don’t have the time or indeed ability to investigate. One comment I personally would make is that perhaps employees see working for a Big Tech FAANGs as a stepping stone to where they ultimately want to go to with their career, judged purely by the amount of former employees of these companies who love to state they are “ex-Facebook, ex-Amazon” etcetera in their strap lines on LinkedIn.
So what does it all mean? Which list should you believe? Well, all of them actually. My advice if you are a job seeker (and remember, I did this analysis through the lens of a recruiter) is to use all information available to you before you make any decision about which company to join. The information is out there at the touch of a keyboard and there is an awful lot of it. I can’t stress the importance of doing your due diligence before joining a company, and I would definitely try to speak to someone within the organisation and ask them if many of their colleagues are Open to Work.
Elliott Scott HR’s Best Employer in Singapore List
Here's Elliott Scott's ranking with The Straits Times in brackets after:
Advanced Micro Devices (69)
Agilent Technologies Singapore (98）
Singapore American School（4）
Singapore Polytechnic (100)
Marina Bay Sands (8)
Parkway Hospitals Singapore (74)
National Healthcare Group (43)
Housing & Development Board
Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) (75)
Challenger Technologies (52)
HP Inc (49)
Willis Towers Watson (29)
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co (Singapore) (95)
Coca-Cola Singapore (35)
Woh Hup (32)
RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (73)
Applied Materials (55)
Accor Hotels (18)
Raffles Medical Group (65)
Courts Singapore (96)
Johnson Controls (93)
Ensign InfoSecurity (90)
Kuehne + Nagel (14)
Proctor & Gamble (26)
American Express (44)
JP MorganChase (13)
Jabil Circuit (Singapore) 87
Sembcorp Industries (83)
DBS Bank (58)
Monetary Authority of Singapore (64)
Bank of America (12)
Ministry of Social and Family Development (54)
BHP Billiton (71)
British-American Tobacco (12)
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) (30)
Motorola Solutions Singapore (20)
Johnson & Johnson (61)
Sunray Woodcraft Construction (10)
Ministry of Manpower (36)
Asia Pacific Breweries (Heineken Asia Pacific) (33)
Jones Lang LaSalle (99)
Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group
Adidas Singapore (3)
Senoko Energy (24)
Singapore Power Group (70)
Reckitt (formerly Mead Johnson Nutrition) (31)
NTUC LearningHub (66)
Infocomm and Media Development Authority (51)
Illumina Singapore (27)
Thales Group (50)
Thanks for reading! If you would like to get in touch with me contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.