Are you looking to learn about the jobs in Singapore ?
Find your industry on the list to know more about the most sought after jobs, and opportunities for growth in the Singaporean job market according to the Hays Quarterly Report (December 2015).
Large-scale hospital construction projects are set to begin in Singapore soon, which has caused a boom in the country’s healthcare sector. Due to this, the need for architects and medical planners has seen a rise as of late. For candidates with experience using BIM, the ability to get a job should be particularly increased.
As far as the private housing sector, the recent government measure used to cool the housing market has caused many firms to create overseas development projects. Candidates looking to gain work in this sector will have the most luck seeking work on a contract basis.
The most attractive skill for employees in the architecture sector right now is a background in interior design (workplace solutions). If you have experience furnishing corporate fit outs, your value in the Singaporean job market has just experienced a boost. Additionally, project managers are widely sought.
Banking & Financial Services
Banking remains one of the candidate-led industries in Singapore, as many vacancies remain in key areas of the sector. However, many banks are still taking a rather conservative approach, despite the general staff shortages. Due to this, more focus is being placed on replacement (as opposed to increasing staff) by bank’s recruiters. Although, it is suspected that business critical roles, such as compliance and internal audit personnel, will remain highly sought during the October to December 2015 quarter.
To properly fill vacancies for important areas, some banks have migrated to role-based promotions where adopted, employees are promoted throughout the year, as opposed to the normal year-end only model.
Local candidates remain the preference of the industry, but the shortage of talent has lead to many overseas acquisitions. Additionally, companies are beginning to embrace contract hiring more thoroughly. To attract the talent necessary to succeed, companies are investing in preparing many attractive benefits that apply to professional contractors. Holiday leave, medical insurance, and completion bonuses are just a few of the incentives currently being offered by many banks and financial service companies.
Compliance professionals who are located in Singapore have some of the strongest job opportunities in the sector. Qualified candidates are needed to deal with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Candidates with strong background in internal auditing also have a lot of leverage in the job market. Corporate credit auditors, corporate banking auditors, and trade finance auditors are all needed to help banks successfully compete for market share.
To add to this, credit risk analysts are sought after to ensure the handling of multi-assets and product approvals is done in a professional and effective way. Additionally, securities operations, collateral management and credit/loan operations personnel are highly sought after. Many of these positions are driven by tighter regulatory reforms and the desire to be fully compliant with current Singaporean finance laws/regulations.
Since Singapore remains a strong trading hub, and major regional financer, talented trade finance candidates also find themselves in a good position. Due to the strong economy, many major banks are open to pursuing new ventures, and trade finance experts can help them grow in the right direction.
Because the industry is currently candidate-led, candidates will likely receive job offers from various areas in the sector. The more a candidate has to offer through experience/skills, the more leverage they will have during the hiring process.
Construction work has steadied in the past six months, allowing employers to wait for the right candidate, as opposed to needing to fill spots in a rush. While publicly funded construction projects are in the works, they are currently on hold due to the Land Transport Authority delaying the release of certain projects to better manage existing lines/projects.
The top skills in demand for construction sector workers are experience as a site engineer, tunnel engineer, or senior QS. Site engineers have the most flexibility, and have been able to successfully transition into related positions that both pay better, and give a more flexible work schedule.
Tender & project support employees are looking to move into available SQS vacancies. However, the need for pre and post contracts experience beyond the normal expectancies are often needed to successfully gain work with local suppliers. To gain the edge needed to move into the SQS sector, a background in contract administration knowledge can be a huge help.
Due to the current production on the cable tunnel and Thomas Line MRT, the need for tunnel engineers to work on large-scale infrastructure projects has skyrocketed. However, employers are often looking for highly specific qualifications in their candidate, depending on the project being taken on.
International e-commerce startups looking to set up contact centers have always been attracted to Singapore due to its unique language strengths and spoken language diversity. Due to the need to coordinate activities with global centers, current hiring trends are in favor of those with a service delivery, business support, or business excellence background.
The need for senior management roles, and the lack of qualified candidates in Singapore, has caused many companies to seek overseas contracts in countries such as Malaysia.
A strong background in customer service management will benefit those looking to be hired, with operational skills and tactics being a very attractive candidate quality. Due to the Operations/Customer Service Manager being the spine of any good contact center, this job has remained in high demand.
The Director of Regional Customer Service roles are also seeing a boost in a number of openings across Singapore. These regional directors help to make the connection between Singaporean and global centers run more smoothly.
Business support managers, trainers, and team managers are also in high demand. The need for support and training staff that can lead to a highly experienced and well-prepared staff is crucial to all contact centers.
The engineering sector remains heavily focused on currently existing projects, making recruiters highly preferential toward local candidates with strong backgrounds. Those able to fill railway RAM roles (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) are particularly valued in the current climate, due to their ability to help optimize existing work structures and equipment functionality. Many of Singapore’s Railway RAM companies are seeking to expand on existing teams to create a more efficient and secure workflow.
Employers looking to hire have expressed interest in candidates experienced in systems engineering, railroad alignment design, and Communication Based Train Control operations. Those with CBTC experience are highly needed by companies working on the new driverless operations on Singapore’s new generation railway systems. System engineers, on the other hand, are needed to lead/grow teams, help develop business, and work as technical overseers on various aspects of the railway projects. From assurance to integration, system engineers are wanted in many areas throughout the Singaporean engineering sector.
Finally, rail/road alignment directors have experienced an increase in demand, which is expected to become even higher. Niche skill sets are needed, however, as the current Shell pavement design method being used on many projects requires specific knowledge of the 6D and 12D alignment softwares.
Overall, the banking and financial sectors are focusing primarily on business-critical tech roles, although there are some roles that are proving an exception. Of these roles, an increase in demand for front office application support, corporate and investment banking, and front office development has occurred. Many of these roles are appearing in mature trading hubs located in Hong Kong or London, but are slowly migrating to the Singaporean sector, as the country’s economy grows.
Additionally, both IT risk management and cyber security personal are being sought in high numbers to assist with the legislative changes that recently occurred surrounding intellectual property. To add to this, companies are becoming more concerned with the benefits that can be gained by having a diverse and strong IT security strategy within its operations. However, this development is relatively recent, so the demand will be on a slow rise before entering the same booming territory as the other positions listed above.
Accountancy & Finance
Both the FMCG and retail sectors are seeing hiring activity become stronger in general accounting functions. Additionally, various finance functions are being outsourced to low-cost countries by some of the more successful IT companies. Due to general growth within the real estate investment trust industry, a higher demand has been created for senior merger & acquisition professionals, as well as corporate finance candidates.
The manufacturing industry, on the other hand, has been shrinking in the last few quarters. Low interest in jobs within the financial planning and analysis fields has made candidates looking for positions in that area highly attractive to recruiters.
Those candidates who hold experience in the Big 4 and/or commercial experience are currently highly sought after within Singapore’s retail industry. The accounting knowledge they bring makes them resilient in high volume environments, making them appealing to these large retail companies.
HR professionals are seeing boosts in jobs available throughout Singapore. Those looking to work in the financial sector are experiencing a particularly fantastic business climate. Additionally, many global tech players have experienced an increased need for talent acquisition teams.
Perhaps what sets HR apart from many of the other Singaporean sectors on this list is the amount of hybrid roles being created. However, due to the higher amount of qualifications/experience needed, these roles typically take much longer to fill than more traditional HR positions.
There is a high demand for all levels of HR business partners currently, especially for those with strong advisory skills and influencing capabilities. If you have the skill set to help a business achieve its objectives, you will be highly attractive to many companies.
Talent management and learning/development candidates are also experiencing an increased demand. Both regional and global candidates are needed to help develop, engage, and retain top talent.
Senior salaries are seeing a general decrease, however, as many senior level candidates are beginning to leave positions in search for new jobs in the market.
IT job opportunities are on the rise, and the trend is expected to continue throughout the next quarter. Those candidates with international experience are particularly attractive to recruiters, especially if they have managerial experience abroad. Additionally, candidates able to clearly demonstrate the ROI of their past positions should be able to find work easily.
Technical developers, cyber security personal, and IT risk management candidates are in the biggest demand currently. Due to the shortage of talent in these areas, many employers have had to step up their recruitment practices. Sign on bonuses, increased remuneration packages and more, have been offered to professionals in these departments to attract quality talent. While tech developers are being sought after to increase the speed of development, cyber security personal and IT risk management candidates are needed to deal with current legislative changes in Singapore’s IT industry/culture.
Candidates are expected to use their leverage to full effect during the hiring process. A strong IT candidate should expect a salary increment of 10-15%.
Due to several large takeovers, acquisitions, and mergers in the Singaporean insurance sector as of late, the industry is seeing large amounts of movement. Many candidates are either leaving their position to explore new roles, or because of redundancies in their current workplace.
Of the sectors that remain strong, life and general insurance companies are most successful.
Political risks are one of the biggest current concerns of the Singaporean insurance industry, leading to an increase in demand for reinsurers and specialty insurers.
Sales, business development and product teams, as well as bancassurance teams are growing in the industry thanks to more companies’ willingness to invest in the selling of insurance products.
There has been a steady growth within the industry for junior to mid-level lawyers. All sectors are hiring based on the relevance of a candidate’s skills to their firm’s expertise, but the areas with the most opportunities currently are as follows: asset finance, banking and international arbitration, project finance, and energy and resources.
The growth in areas of project finance/asset finance and energy and resource mergers & acquisitions are being driven by increased projects-related work from ASEAN neighbors, highest among them Indonesia. Due to this, candidates with a strong grasp of the Bahasa Indonesian language are in high demand.
For companies looking to hire more in-house legal professionals, the following sectors are seeing the most growth: insurance and financial services, information technology, media, and technology. Additionally, those with mid-to-senior legal talent with experience working in the Asia-Pacific or ASEAN regions are needed in the engineering and pharmaceutical sectors. This is primarily due to Singapore’s position as a regional hub for many of the top players in the region.
The energy, resources, and infrastructure sectors are expected to generate a lot of legal fees in the coming quarters, which will lead to higher revenue for relevant legal firms in Singapore. Additionally, Singapore holds its position as one of the world’s most active maritime hubs, which creates a need for candidates who have experience in the shipping litigation sector.
For paralegals, the market is looking even brighter, as the demand for qualified professionals has been consistently rising over the years. To qualify for the many job openings, you should hold a Bachelors of Laws, and have at least two years of experience working as either a Legal Executive or Paralegal.
Candidates in the life science sector are beginning to explore more alternative career opportunities, due to global expansions, mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Because of this, senior vacancies are appearing in many key areas of the industry, including pharmaceutical and device organizations. Those involved with compliance, medical, and regulatory functions have a particularly increased professional mobility due to these new industry developments.
While many of these companies traditionally hired a strong mix of foreign and local candidates, changes in foreign employment policies have led them to more aggressively pursue local talent.
Pharmaceutical and medical device related jobs have seen the biggest increase in hiring, although the skillset needed to gain these positions has also experienced an increase.
The following three positions currently have the most demand associated with them: manufacturing professionals with biologics expertise, marketing professionals, and regulatory affairs professionals. The need for stronger content marketing, product testing/technology implementation, and international communication has led to the growth of hiring opportunities in these areas.
While Singapore has traditionally favored permanent basis contracts for office professionals, many companies are beginning to see the advantages to be had from hiring contract workers. Overall, the “temp to perm” hiring strategy is seeing a slow but steady growth across the sector. Additionally, fewer roles are being created, and recruiters tend to seek to fill replacement roles, as opposed to simply increasing employee headcount.
The proficiency of an office candidate’s ability with Microsoft applications and other relevant software remains the top selling point for a potential employee. Team assistants able to handle a team of 10 or more, and receptionists with high levels of confidence and professionalism are in particularly high demand.
Oil & Gas
Due to the downward trend of global oil prices, the industry has experienced shifts in hiring trends. New field development and exploration projects have taken the biggest hit, as the ventures are no longer financially viable for many companies. It is important to note, however, that some companies have been able to remain profitable during this tumultuous period.
One of the strongest areas of growth in the field has occurred in companies specializing in maintenance/refurbishment for oil rigs and production facilities. With companies looking to contain operating costs and expand the lifespan of equipment during this tough time, more money is being seen in this area.
Many companies are investing in the hiring of regional sales managers and/or business development managers. Additionally, project manager and project engineers associated with the construction of offshore production facilities are experiencing more job opportunities and growth potential. Any candidate who has experience with Topside or Floating Production Storage and Offloading Facilities will find themselves in a particularly advantageous position.
In addition to these positions, both mechanical & electrical engineers and technical superintendent candidates remain in high demand. The cost-effective management and upkeep of current facilities by struggling companies is essential to their survival, and these positions help to achieve just that.
Both property and facilities management positions have been experiencing steady hiring rates, with some employers placing a larger focus on internal talent acquisition. Those with the ability to take on critical facilities management specialist tasks are in particularly high demand.
Facilities managers and project managers are expected to keep a steady rise in demand through the next quarter. With many new projects expanding offices, the need for highly skilled trainers and managers is apparent. In addition to the banking sector, the food/beverage, IT, and manufacturing sectors are in need of such candidates to assist with daily workplace operations.
Sales & Marketing
Employers are searching aggressively for candidates that will help them run a functioning and profitable business from the get go. Because of this, proactive sales and marketing professionals with experience working for/starting startups has increased significantly.
Industry experience remains important, but soft skills that can be applied to many different departments is currently the most attractive quality a candidate can hold. Digital marketing abilities are key, as companies are focusing on growing brand visibility.
These four positions are currently the most sought after in the sales & marketing sector: sales managers, internal/external marketing communications, regional sales & distribution managers, and market researchers. As companies look to expand their revenue, more accurately analyze/target their consumer base, and make sound investments, all of these positions become important.
Life sciences and FMCG sectors are actively hiring on a consistent basis, with the specific goal of filing roles related to supply demand planning, and process improvement.
Candidates who can drive process improvement and those who have experience with SAP implementation are sought after.