Digital and social media specialists are the most in demand in the marketing sector as the rate of technology adoption in Singapore soars, according to recruitment firm Randstad.
Also, candidates who are fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) specialists are set to remain highly sought after, especially with global brands. It is also expected that brand managers, who continue to develop their skills and increase their responsibilities, will start to replace mid to senior roles in general marketing.
Across the board, professionals in the sales, marketing and communications sectors can expect to see a salary increase of between 3 to 8 per cent next year, with the average bonus in the vicinity of one to two months’ salary.
Digital demand exposes skills gap
eMarketer reported last month that 73.3 per cent of Singaporeans – or 3.1 million people – now use social media platforms, which is causing companies to scramble to grow their digital marketing capabilities.
Randstad’s Associate Director for Sales, Marketing, Communications, Josh Border, said that consumers’ reliance on online platforms, from shopping to providing feedback and lodging complaints, means that companies can no longer ignore digital sales and communications channels.
“According to Adobe research, 40 per cent of business leaders in Singapore support digital marketing, which is above the Asia Pacific average. Companies know that they need to incorporate social media into their marketing mix, with digital marketers, technology salespeople and social media content creators being the most in demand marketing roles in 2016.
However, while companies are seeking candidates with digital experience now, Border admits that the sector faces a limited talent pool while the industry in Singapore matures.
Workforce ramping up digital skills to meet new industry demands
“Tertiary institutions have begun to integrate courses to better equip graduates, with schools like Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic offering social media strategy and digital marketing modules,” said Border.
This lack of specialist talent opens up job prospects for mature workers, despite the stereotype that they are inflexible and afraid of technology.
“As non-digital natives, older workers can upgrade their skills through social media marketing courses offered by the National Infocomm Competency Framework, supported by SkillsFuture. Coupled with their traditional marketing experience and knowledge, these workers can find more opportunities in this sector as it grows.” Border says that in an industry that is facing the challenge of attraction and retention, it’s not about bringing in the best people, but retaining and keeping the best people engaged.
“Millennials are really ahead of the rest of us, and they want to be CEO by the time they’re 30. It’s not about feeding the next generation, it’s about managing their appetites,” Border concludes.