Singapore's construction sector is expected to grow by 3.5 per cent per year over the next five years, according to design and engineering consultancy Aecom.

And according to the latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, the need for workers in Singapore’s construction sector is consequently strong with mechanical and civil estimators being sought after due to the nature of current projects in Asia.

The construction market continues to develop offshore, as returns are higher in overseas markets. Estimators who excel beyond counting and itemising materials are highly attractive.

Quantity surveyors who have the flexibility to work in both head office and on site are in high demand. These candidates are mainly sought after by companies competing in the building and civil infrastructure sector. Candidates who have local experience and are aware of local suppliers have a great advantage when applying for these roles.

C&S design engineers with more than seven years’ local experience and who are registered or sitting their examinations for their PE qualification are in high demand in Singapore’s construction industry.

Sections of the upcoming Thomson Line will soon be awarded, and recruitment specialist Hays expects to see the successful contractors lure construction and project managers and tunnel managers away from their existing employers.

Once contracts are released, there will be a lot of candidate interest and movement as professionals are drawn to the opportunity to work on this new project.

Other areas of demand as revealed in the Hays Quarterly Hotspots list include accountancy and finance, where professional practice firms are recruiting. Hays sees high demand for tax professionals in both direct and indirect tax.

There are a limited number of indirect candidates available in Singapore and these have recently been sourced from overseas. Candidates with regional exposure and commercial experience are highly desired by employers as they are not looking to train new entrants.

Specialists in the supply chain industry such as demand and supply planners are sought after to make business forecasts. These professionals can give a business optimal profits and stock levels while minimising or eliminating costs incurred from overstock.

In the banking sector, skills in risk and regulatory reporting, compliance and internal controls are in high demand as they share the same synergies, focusing on tighter controls as well as more in depth and regular reporting.

These skills are expected to stay in high demand while there is increased importance in the current market for local regulatory reporting.

Notably, Hays sees vacancies in most industries across Singapore for select strategic roles. Employers are looking to secure candidates with the required technical capability, cultural fit, and the expertise to provide immediate value and long-term benefits to the organisation.

A final point worth considering is that employers are only making job offers to the top-tier candidates as they are still looking for employees with the background and specific skills that match their industry.

The latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list features in-demand roles in various sectors, including:

•  Accountancy and finance — tax and pricing

•  Banking — risk and regulatory reporting, compliance and internal controls

•  Contact centres — telesales and telemarketing

•  Engineering — structural design engineers

•  Finance technology — developers (Core C++/C#/Java)

•  Information technology — Mobile developers (Android, iOS), cloud sales and pre-sales

•  Office professionals — corporate secretariat managers, office managers

•  Oil and gas — senior project managers

•  Procurement — indirect managers

•  Supply chain — demand and supply planners

Article by Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia. Hays is a leading recruiting expert in qualified, professional and skilled people. For more information on the Hays Quarterly Hotspots List, visit www.hays.com.sg