Given the rapidly advancing tech industry, recruiting the right talent has never been a bigger priority for tech corporations in Singapore and other regions throughout Asia. Fortunately, Singapore’s tech talent pool is beginning to thrive thanks to the flexibility and innovation of tech corporations wanting to expand their teams.
Although 85 percent of Singapore’s tech firms placed manpower constraints as their biggest hurdle to growth in SGTech’s 2017/18 Annual Business Survey, the city state is on the verge of becoming one of the world’s leading destinations for tech hiring in the next decade, according to Glassdoor’s latest report on Singapore’s hiring trends. In fact, the number of positions filled in the country’s tech sector outpaced that of its world-renowned finance sector in 2018.
Singapore has long been regarded as the epicentre of Asian finance, with a wide variety of banks and hedge funds operating in the Lion City. Not to mention, there are plenty of retail traders based in Singapore choosing to take ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ positions on stocks and forex using contracts for difference (CFDs), in which the ability to short assets and currencies is one of the main reasons why they trade CFDs for a living.
The future of work in Singapore is set to offer an abundance of opportunities for tech professionals, notably those adept at working in software and data analysis. So how do Singapore’s tech trail blazers recruit the talent they need to disrupt industries and push boundaries?
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have long been a way for tech giants to enter new markets or, better still, enhance the capabilities of their workforce in one move. As you can see from the visual above, there have been multi-billion-dollar M&As since 1995 before the dotcom boom. The likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook typically use M&A to bring disruptive, innovative niche firms under their umbrella to enhance the scope of their overarching expertise. Singapore-headquartered tech corps like Migme have regularly made acquisitions of tech start-ups in the region. Their most notable acquisition of recent years being that of Singaporean start-up LoveByte.
Singapore’s tech giants are increasingly benefiting from the growing pool of freelance or contractor talent prepared to work on a flexible, interim basis. For tech firms in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, the ability to hire project managers or leads on an ad-hoc basis makes sense financially, whilst giving them immediate access to specialist expertise as and when they need it.
It’s also good to see that Asia’s tech giants are looking longer-time with their recruitment planning too. Many firms are launching their own internship schemes that help nurture company loyalty and enhance the overall tech talent pool. The Singapore University of Technology and Design is also increasingly churning out top talent that candidate managers are rapidly snapping up for tech corps at careers fairs and seminars.
Last but by no means least, tech giants also use their credentials, exposure and connections to reach out to promising talent working for competitors and firms lower down the food chain. This has long been the nature of the beast in tech recruitment, with bigger firms able to go beyond wages and offer improved working environments and contractual perks.
Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, also predicts a bright future for Singapore’s tech talent pool. Dr Chamberlain notes the city state’s “proximity” to other “growing Asian markets” too, making it a “natural choice” for “abundant tech talent” to thrive.
I’m Cillian Wilson, an avid business journalist with a keen eye for trends within the modern tech industry. I studied Business and Marketing at university, but over the past 10 years have since developed a passion for business journalism, especially with regards to large tech corps and how they structure their operations. I’ve covered everything from small-scale start-ups to the competition between the big 4, and how they have conquered the market and maintained their dominance.