THE October-December Hays Quarterly Report confirms that Singapore’s job market is healthy but tight, with a growing list of skills in short supply now.
As many sectors are now back to the levels seen prior to the global financial crisis, businesses are ramping up their hiring activity.
Employers are adding both permanent and temporary staff. Organisations that reduced headcount during the crisis are now growing their teams to take advantage of business conditions. Even at the support level, employers are recruiting to fill skills gaps.
According to the report, the following skills are in demand:
Accountancy and finance: There has been an increased demand for candidates with a strong International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) background and accounting policy experience due to ongoing changes. In particular, those with a focus on how IFRS applies to financial instruments will be highly sought after.
Candidates with experience of the Basel framework and capital adequacy experience are also in demand. The imminent implementation of Basel III is likely to see this trend continue into next year and beyond.
In the commercial sector, cost-focused management accountants are in demand as businesses focus on reducing costs.
Banking: There is a high demand for senior banking professionals with strong regulatory and risk management experience, in particular credit risk, portfolio risk, compliance and economic capital. Wealth management and private banking continues to be an area in great demand, with many of the world’s major players announcing growth and development plans in this sector.
Finance technology: There is increased demand for development-led resources as investment banks continue to invest in talent that will get them to the market faster.
Java and .net programmers from the junior to senior level are still very much in demand across the e-commerce space, in particular within foreign exchange and money markets.
Information technology: Project and delivery managers with strong technical, project management and Enterprise Resource Planning skills will be highly sought after, particularly within the banking, telco and industrial sectors. Network engineers are also sought mainly on a contract basis.
Human resources: Demand for HR professionals has increased across all industries and levels. In particular, the number of roles in talent management and learning and development has increased noticeably, as organisations try to tackle employee engagement and retention issues.
Pharma: Health economics, pricing and reimbursement and market access candidates are currently in demand.
Construction: The civil and infrastructure sector is emerging quickly due to long-term civil works projects, including the underground rail network. The Circle Line is 50 per cent complete while the new Downtown Line is due for completion in around 2017, so there will be continued demand as a result.
Sales and marketing: The main areas of demand continue to be reflected in the sub-$200,000 salary market. In particular, business development managers and sales executives for the IT, FMCG, industrial and logistics sectors are highly sought after.
The financial services sector has been driving investment within marketing communications. Professionals in internal communications, public relations and direct marketing are currently in demand.
Property: Project managers with solid interior fit-out experience delivering commercial or large corporate projects are highly sought after. Facilities management is an evergreen area, and experienced candidates are always in demand.
Supply chain: Supply chain professionals with expertise in planning, logistics operations and procurement are highly sought after. This is in line with foreign investments and the continued push to position Singapore as a logistics and transshipment hub.