PROJECT accountants, quantity surveyors and transport planners are just some of the professionals in high demand, but inflated salary expectations are pricing some Singaporeans out of their next job, says recruiting expert Hays.

In its latest Hays Quarterly Report, the recruiter says job seekers should focus on long-term career development over short-term salary hikes.

It adds that Singapore’s job market is positive and employers are hiring, but while there is a shortage of high-level skills, employers will only increase salaries so far to secure their ideal candidate.

Many professionals spent the last quarter holding out for their bonuses and are now preparing to enter the job market.

Hays says they should focus on securing a job with greater responsibility and regional exposure which will provide long-term benefits to their career, rather than solely focusing on financial rewards.

Many departments are seeing a growth in jobs.

Accountancy teams are getting bigger and the banking sector is adding both temporary and permanent staff.

There are technical skills shortages across engineering, information technology (IT), insurance, procurement and oil & gas, to name a few.

Human resources (HR) is also an active area for jobs as organisations expand, restructure or up-skill existing workers.


Skills in demand

So are employers hiring in your profession?

Here is a selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Report for July to September 2014:


Accountancy & finance

Within commerce, employers are recruiting junior to mid-level project accountants/controllers with project skills.

Financial accountants at the mid- to senior level who have good enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience are also sought after.

In professional practice, internal auditors are in high demand given Singapore’s position as a regional hub, as are compliance professionals in response to increasingly stringent regulation and scrutiny in the financial services industry.

Within financial services, regulatory reporting and product control expertise is needed.



Compliance officers are in demand, given new regulations and an emphasis on anti-money laundering.

Project and change managers are also needed to deliver cost savings and efficiency improvements.



Due to upcoming and ongoing projects, employers are looking for both post- and pre-contract quantity surveyors with a stable employment background who can assist in the preparation of proposals.

Technical managers from a specialist contracting background are also highly regarded.


Contact centres

Customer service representatives are needed given the emphasis on service excellence, particularly in the financial services sector.

Telemarketers are also sought in Singapore’s competitive finance and IT industry.



With the transport network in Singapore facing emerging challenges, demand exists for experienced transport planners.

Detailed design engineers within the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) field are also in demand.


Finance technology

As banks look to increase their profile to comply with regulatory guidelines, the demand for IT technology risk and security engineers is growing.

Digital/big data specialists are also in strong demand and there is an ongoing race between consumer banks to understand and engage with their customers.


Information technology

Singapore is becoming a hub for mobile application development on both the Android and IOS platforms, which is creating jobs for Android/IOS developers.

Cloud architects and mobility experts are also being sought as enterprise IT moves towards the Cloud and mobility. 



As Singapore is one of the largest banking hubs in the world, ISDA negotiators will always be in demand.

With the introduction of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), privacy is a big focus in Singapore and jobs for global privacy lawyers are increasing.


Life sciences

Companies are ramping up their regulatory affairs expertise as a direct result of increased scrutiny on the medical sector from health boards and governments. 

Quality assurance technicians are also in demand as employers act to ensure quality assurance in their production processes.


Office professionals

Office managers who are flexible, proactive and possess a broad range of skills are in high demand from new start-ups and small businesses.

As activity in the legal industry increases, legal secretaries with strong administrative skills are needed.


Oil & gas

Due to the growth in construction of offshore structures in Asia, there is a shortage of senior project managers (Subsea/SURF) with “mega project” experience delivering major projects worth US$150 million (S$188 million) plus in value.

Hays is also seeing a need for business development managers, reservoir engineers, senior geophysicists and geologists, as well as design engineers and EPC (engineering procurement construction) project managers.



There is constant demand within the market for experienced and available technology sourcing managers with technical knowledge of IT hardware, various types of software, data centre procurement and telecoms.

Buyers/purchasers are in demand too.



Fit-out project managers are needed in both the commercial office space and retail sectors.

Given Singapore’s development as a global business hub, facilities managers and executives are in demand to take care of offices, buildings, warehouses and properties.


Supply chain

Several larger third-party logistics companies in Singapore are hiring logistics managers to run warehousing sites in Singapore.

Supply planners are also needed at the junior and senior level to forecast and manage inventory levels, keep costs low and ensure companies meet their demands in Singapore or across Asia.


Article by Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore. Hays is a leading recruiting expert in qualified, professional and skilled people. For more information on jobs in demand, please see the full Hays Quarterly Report at