Singapore’s demand for IT talent up across most industries

Demand for client-facing skill sets and technology professionals with strong investment banking backgrounds helped drive IT recruitment within the financial services sector in 2014, according to the latest annual Global Salary Survey from professional recruitment firm Robert Walters

Although several large foreign banks chose to offshore technical roles, this was countered by other organizations entering the market to take advantage of Singapore’s wealth of talent.

The report noted solid growth in most technology disciplines across the exchanges, international and regional private banks, wealth management and asset management houses.

In 2015, Robert Walter anticipates regional banks will invest further in retail projects and financial markets’ trading platforms, while local banks will target online and mobile channels, driving demand for usability and customer experience employees.

Contracting opportunities were more readily available in 2014 and this should continue in 2015. Project managers, business analysts, infrastructure engineers, and developers will be in the highest demand.

Some offshoring of IT roles took place within commerce and industry in 2014, but there was also heavy investment in Singapore, according to the report.

Meanwhile, demand increased for contractors with infrastructure-related and enterprise resource planning skills, IT security and digital professionals in end-user organizations.

Overall, the future for online and digital recruitment appears very positive.

Consumer-driven firms are set to invest heavily in digital strategies in 2015 and professionals with skills related to online and digital project delivery, mobile and application development, user experience, service design, big data and marketing analytics will all be key hiring priorities.

Within financial services, Robert Walters expects candidates with compliance experience to be in high demand in 2015. A scarcity of both local and permanent resident technology candidates also looks likely.

Salary levels remained similar to previous years in 2014 and we don’t anticipate major changes in 2015. Job-movers can expect increments of 10-15%, while top-tier candidates with specialised business domain experience could command up to 20%.

The report also noted that companies are offering wider benefits to secure top talent, such as increased holiday allowance, completion bonuses and insurance coverage.

Intense competition for local talent

Employers in Singapore are increasingly seeking to hire Singaporean talent as supported by the Fair Consideration Framework. Thus, the competition for local talent has intensified over the past few years and will continue to increase in the year ahead.

According to the latest annual Global Salary Survey from professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, the candidate-driven employment market has created a strong demand for Singaporean talent – resulting in a keen interest from organizations and the government to attract overseas local talent back to Singapore. Their international exposure coupled with knowledge of the local business culture will be an asset to companies looking to develop a core of local professionals.

Figures from the survey suggest that in-demand candidates who switched jobs in 2014 could command an average 10 – 20% salary increment.

“The employment landscape of 2015 will likely see the competition for Singaporean professionals accelerate,” said Toby Fowlston, Managing Director of Robert Walters Singapore. “To fulfil the market’s demands, organizations are looking outside of the tight candidate pool and recognizing the importance of attracting overseas Singaporeans back home. This creates opportunities for a more dynamic workforce and offers potential employers varied professional experiences to draw from.”