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Economic Slowdown Will Not Impact Hiring Activity in Singapore, Stability Expected

January 23, 2017

The global economic slowdown seems to have least impacted the hiring activity by Singaporean firms, though treading a cautious approach the outlook is expected to be stable in the year ahead as more MNCs and start-ups set up their operations in the region. This is according to findings published in an annual global salary survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters.

These companies are on lookout for technology specialists, investment professionals, digital marketers, skilled contractors and regulatory and compliance professionals. The IT job market in the country will likely see high levels of recruitment in 2017, as more companies jump onto the digital bandwagon.

Also government’s plans to boost the local start-up ecosystem will underpin high demand for technology professionals in job roles such as UI designers, User experience specialists and cyber security professionals.

Q4 2016 saw increase in the number of IT job advertisements by 30 percent, compared to a meagre 0.4 percent increase in medical services and 9 percent drop in the accounting and finance sector. This trend is likely expected to continue this year as well, said Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia.

Fowlston told Channel News Asia exclusively, “Technology is seeping into everything we do, including traditional roles such as accounting and legal. There have been some challenging sectors over the last 12 months but technology has been a key growth area. I believe the recruitment numbers will continue to grow, in both permanent and contract positions.”

Compliance professionals with specialist knowledge in financial crime compliance and anti-money laundering (AML), with experience in investigation and research will be highly sought after amid tougher banking regulations.

Meanwhile, changing perceptions towards contract roles have seen more highly-qualified professionals opting for contracting as a viable career option. Therefore more companies, in particular in the technology and financial services sector, will offer more contract roles in the year ahead.

“Contracting has been something that has really evolved. People now want work-life balance and the offshoring in financial services means a lot of companies don’t have the permanent headcount but still need a lot of resources so there’s the need for contracting still.”

However, in terms of salary increase, there will be no noteworthy jump in paychecks, except for certain in-demand roles which will see average salary increment of 10 to 20 percent. For example, a compliance specialist can command average salary increments of between 15 and 20 per cent after switching jobs. Contractors in the banking and financial services industry can also expect salary increments of 7 to 15 percent, alongside completion bonuses.

Sales and marketing job movers can also expect a similar 10 to 15 per cent increment, with those specialising in digital marketing likely to attract even higher increments. However, those in the IT industry can expect minimal salary increase in 2017.

The economic slowdown did cast its shadow on the shipping and logistics sector in the country, with quite a number of challenges in terms of new industry hires. Also the manufacturing sector has also been impacted with a small return in the oil and gas sector to see a depressed market.

Without being overtly negative about the challenges being faced by companies in certain sectors, there are plentiful opportunities provided by the Government to upskill workers and companies need to look at the quality of staff to see if they have the best team to turn tables in favour. Booming industries will ramp up their recruitment efforts this year, but some might observe cautious hiring in 2017.

 

 

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