Southeast Asia to See Strong Economic Outlook in 2018: Robert Walters Survey

November 30, 20178:08 am1552 views

Recent report released by specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters suggested optimistic predictions for next year, with strong economic outlook, ongoing digitalisation, and steady market expansion contributed to drive salary growth in Southeast Asia region.

According to its annual Salary Survey, professionals with specialised skillsets in accounting and finance, human resources, sales and marketing, and technology sectors will be mostly sought after in 2018. There will be high demand in IT skillsets and contracting opportunities especially those working in fintech, healthcare, and technology sectors in Singapore. Local market candidates with strong technical skills in IT and international will be highly in-demand, too.

Overall job market in the region is reportedly to remain active throughout 2017. This condition was largely attributed to new market entrants and expansion of existing businesses in Southeast Asia. Driven by rapidly growing younger population and increased consumerism, digitalisation continued to be a key priority across most markets.

Regarding to this finding, Robert Walters Managing Director for Southeast Asia, Toby Fowlston said that current digitalization trend has spurred global businesses to create online or mobile platforms as companies seek to enhance their competitiveness as well as increase market share with customers. As the result of such transformations, many companies were looking for talents with digital expertise across both marketing and information technology (IT), especially those who are proficient in running back office digital infrastructure or with niche technology skills.

See: Singapore Workers to Receive 2.7 Percent Real Wage Increase Next Year: Survey

The focus on business transformation also triggers the demand for HR professionals with experience in change management and proven ability in cultural transformation. However, the region might face challenges in talent attraction and retention, owing to current talent shortages and high staff turnover rates. Therefore, hiring managers are advised to simplify and streamline their hiring processes while being flexible in hiring candidates with learning potential instead of technical skills.

The study also noted that Singapore remained an attractive place for organisations looking to establish local and regional hubs despite economic slowdown last year. There will be sprung in hiring activity in several growing sectors, supported by shifts in consumer behaviour and rising government investment in the local business ecosystem.

Going along with the government’s efforts to strengthen technology infrastructure to build a smart nation, businesses are encouraged to improve their digital processes that will create permanent and temporary opportunities for people with both traditional and new technology skills. The survey indicated that e-commerce, insurance, and logistics will be among key sectors in driving digital transformation.

Additionally, the survey also pointed out that contract or temporary work could be a viable option to overcome skills gap issue across sectors. The growing demand for domestic talent and Singaporeans coming back from overseas are expected to remedy this gap. To address talent shortage locally, Robert Walters introduced ‘Balik Kampung’ (back to the hometown) campaign where it attracts and connects overseas Singaporeans to come back home and look for job here.

Read also: Talents with Specific Skillsets in Demand despite Minimal Salary Raises Next Year

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