Singapore’s Kids Know What They Want! – Part 2

January 25, 2010

The Straits Times Razor TV takes to the streets and schools of Singapore to ask kids their thoughts on running the country and what they want to do when they grow up. These interviews were prompted by the recent Adecco Singapore kids interviews that showed that our kids are an ambitious and caring lot! Part 2

Singaporean Kids Know What They Want! – Part 1

January 24, 2010

The Straits Times Razor TV takes to the streets and schools of Singapore to ask kids their thoughts on running the country and what they want to do when they grow up. These interviews were prompted by the recent Adecco Singapore kids interviews that showed that our kids are an ambitious and caring lot!

Facebook A Must For Job Seekers!

January 19, 2010

In a ‘one-question’ Adecco on-line survey, Facebook was the top choice for job seekers who were asked which social media or on-line platform they preferred to use to obtain career and job related information.

Of the 130 survey respondents, 20% stated that their top choice would be to use Facebook, with 17% preferring LinkedIn as their portal of choice to support career advancement. The survey also showed that 2% of respondents would choose a blog site as their first choice, with less than 1% opting for Twitter.

Social media platforms provide job candidates with various ways to support a job application or to help with their career development. These include researching a company that they may be wanting to work for, connecting with individuals already working with that company, or reading blogs to get a feel for what it is like to work for a specific organization.

Lynne Ng, Regional Director for Adecco South East Asia, commented “Social Media has become very important to today’s job seeker in helping them to obtain information about a potential employer and to see if they would fit into that particular work environment. By reading blogs and participating in on-line conversations, an applicant can be thoroughly prepared for a job interview and have a number of good questions lined-up for the interview day”

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Kids Say The Funniest Things!

January 11, 2010

n746911283_577970_6065_2 (photo: Kath Wildman)

An annual survey of children living in Singapore, conducted by Adecco Singapore, a subsidiary of the world’s leading human resource and staffing services company, reveals that 93% of the children surveyed believe that it is more important to spend time with family than to make lots of money.

The survey of children, aged between 7-14 years, asks just five simple questions:
1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why have you chosen this and how much do you expect to earn?
2. What is the best/coolest job that you can think of?
3. If you became Prime Minister of Singapore, what are the first three things you would do?
4. What is more important: to make lots of money or to spend time with you family?
5. What are you looking forward to doing in 2010?

In the same survey from last year (released in January 2009), 88% of those surveyed stated that they would choose to spend more time with family than in making money. This year that percentage rose to 93%.

The most popular career choices for those surveyed are for becoming a Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher or joining the Singapore Police Force. Those wanting to become a doctor nearly all want to help people – however their monthly salary expectations range from S$2000 right up to S$60,000! Other children surveyed have slightly different career aspirations that include wanting to be a Weapons Engineer, F1 Driver, Game Critic or an Entertainer (as being an Entertainer is a ‘lot of fun’).

One of the children surveyed is hoping to earn S$10 per month as a Dancer, with another wanting to become a Food Critic as they will receive ‘free food’. Another is hoping to become a Model so that they can wear pretty clothes in front of a camera and earn enough money to ‘buy toys’.

When asked about the best/coolest job that they can image, being a lawyer came out tops for the second year running. Others thought that being The President, a vet or a scientist would be very cool too. Some of the more intriguing choices included a job where you ‘could play at the water park each day’, as well as ‘taking care of a remote nature resource on an island in the US’. One child thought that being a Deep Space Researcher would be the best job – the reason being that ‘space has no boundaries’.

The children surveyed had little hesitation in suggesting what the first ‘three things they would do’ were if they were fortunate enough to become the Prime Minister of Singapore. Many children wanted to help others and to maintain a safe Singapore for all to enjoy. Ensuring that all Singaporeans could enjoy a solid education was also a popular choice. A selection of the first things the respondents would do if they got this ‘top job’ are:

- Give a ‘thank you’ speech
- Upgrade computers in schools
- Build more theme parks
- Ensure that everyone has a job
- Make more peanut butter factories
- Use my money to help those in need
- Ensure that each child is given a game console
- Save our coral reefs
- Kill all insects
- Find more way to reduce global warming
- Ban exams
- Buy a super big white house!

The most moving answers to the survey came from the question “What is more important – to make lots of money or to spend time with your family?” As many children see their parents’ lives becoming more hectic, some wise answers make it very clear that children value family time over money earning opportunities. Some of the responses include:

- Without our family, we are nothing
- My family cares for me and loves me. Money has no heart
- Money is not important to me. I am happy as long as I have my family with me
- Family comes first

For the first time the survey also asked the question “What are you looking forward to doing in 2010?” A fascinating selection of academic & lifestyle responses were received and that include:

- Watching the Youth Olympic Games
- Getting better results in school
- Canoeing on a cyber lake (if there are any)
- Keeping my family united and together
- Living my life

This is the fourth year that Adecco has conducted this survey – a survey that allows us a peek at what our children and those around us think about their future and how they would like it to look.

Lynne Ng, Regional Director for Adecco South East Asia, commented “2009 was clearly a challenging year for many families in Singapore and this has been demonstrated in many of the answers provided by the children in the survey. Those surveyed are from diverse family backgrounds, yet nearly all show signs of being very much in touch with their hopes and aspirations for the future. Children in Singapore sometimes get criticized for being too materialistic, although we’re pleased to say that again our survey has shown otherwise.”

When To Ask For A Pay Raise!

January 4, 2010

Even though the economy is showing signs of recovery, it may not be the best time for employees to negotiate a pay raise with their employers, says Edlyn Wee, branch manager of Adecco Singapore.

This is because for many companies, revenues have considerably declined in 2009 and they may need time to “make up ground” before returning to previous profitability levels. As a result, the market rebound may still not be enough for employers to begin liberally granting pay increases.

However, if an employee is confident that his or her contribution is valued by the company, then he or she qualifies to ask for a raise, Wee says. She further emphasises that logic and reasonableness are key elements when approaching a manager for a pay increase.

“Most employees have a good idea of how well the company they are working for is performing – and this knowledge has to influence their approach for an increase. Again, worth and value are key here,” she says. “Someone that an employer sees as superfluous or a poor performer is likely to need to have a very strong case to receive a pay increase at this time.”

When employees seek a raise, they need to look at their previous pay increases and note the percentage of acceptable increments. Additionally, they should also try speaking to other colleagues who may be receiving pay increases as this will provide some guidance as to a company’s management approach to increases at that time.

Employers, on the other hand, will have to understand the ramifications of not offering a pay raise to someone who they value highly and who may join another company. “The cost of downtime and of training someone new can often cost more than it would have done if a pay rise had been given in the first place,” Wee says. Hence, managers will have to consider the overall performance from employees and the contributions they make as well as the total wage bills and the salary increment history of the person seeking a raise.

“If a pay increase is not possible then there are always alternatives that allow an employee to know that their work and contribution is appreciated. These may include extra holiday allowances, days off for overtime worked, further discounts on company products or services,” she suggests. “It’s important that whenever possible, communications around pay increases are handled face-to-face and not by e-mail or over the phone.”

This way, issues and challenges can be better understood and expectations can be better managed.

(This article first appeared in www.humanresourcesonline.net)