Singapore Salaries and Recruitment Trends for the Next Six Months of 2018

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Singapore salary and hiring trends

The Adecco Salary and Industry Guide 2018 states upfront that right now is the perfect time to work and excel in Singapore if you have the right education and special skills to use technology to create value.

But don’t get too happy too soon as the same report promptly mentions that if you are an average worker with only ordinary skills, it is quite possible that you will soon be replaced by a swanky robot or software.

With newer human replacements and job profiles being generated every day, it does not come as a surprise to know that six out of 10 people entering the workforce in 2025 could be in professions that do not exist currently.

Wondering what is in store for you or your salary package in the constantly changing, complex and growing Singaporean job market?

Related: 11 Jobs That Are Most Likely to Be Taken over by Robots

Here are some top trends:

  • 2018 has an overall positive outlook and our local market is likely to see a rise in hiring and salary hikes across sectors in 2018. So, expectation is that the next six months aren’t likely to bring any bad news.
  • To add to the optimistic scenarios, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has upped its GDP forecast for 2018 to 2.5%-3.5% from 1.5%-3.5% stated earlier.
  • The MTI states that the country’s firm economic growth in 2018 is expected to mainly be supported by outward-oriented sectors.
  • Among these, the manufacturing sector is likely to show sustained growth.
  • Talking about outward-oriented services sectors, MTI said transportation & storage, finance & insurance and wholesale trade are expected to mostly benefit from the growing external demand.
  • Domestically-oriented services sectors such as retail and food services are also likely to support growth, thanks to the positive consumer sentiments. However, as ecommerce growth increases, it is unlikely that traditional retail business will see more manpower needs.
  • According to Robert Walters, the contract market is expected to grow as candidates become more open to contracting opportunities to broaden their corporate exposure. This is also applicable for people looking for flexibility and women coming back after a career break.
  • Hays sees many MNCs in the life sciences & technology sector moving or establishing their regional hubs in Singapore.
  • Ambition expects that there will be an ongoing trend of transaction roles being offshored to lower cost locations in Accounting & Finance. Singapore is likely to remain a more strategic hub.
  • With property prices still subdued, construction isn’t likely to see massive growth in the rest of the year.

And here are the hiring and salary trends for the top sectors:

1. Accounting & Finance

According to popular recruitment firm Hudson, the most in-demand technical skills in the Accounting & Finance sector include financial planning and analysis, ERP and implementation knowledge and soft skills include critical thinking, driving and managing change and learning agility.

The job categories that will be most in demand include finance business partner, financial analysis, finance manager, financial controller and management accounting.

Salary trend for 2018* in SGD

Sector

Assistant Manager Manager Senior Manager

Director or above

Accounting 70,000 – 80,000 80,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 170,000 170,000
Finance 70,000 – 80,000 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 250,000 250,000 – 300,000

* Base salaries; exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options

Source: Hudson

2. Sales & Marketing

The Sales & Marketing sector is showing a high demand for niche skills instead of generic ones with specifically carved out roles. The most sought-after skills in the competitive sector will be digital marketing, trade marketing and brand management, according to Hudson. With the industry shifting drastically from offline to online platforms, it comes as no surprise that recruitment will focus on digital/e-commerce managers, channel marketers and marketing directors.

Salary trend for 2018* in SGD

Professional Services

Assistant Manager Manager Senior Manager

Director or above

Public Relations/ Event Marketing 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 80,000 – 120,000 100,000 – 200,000
Internal Communications 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 90,000 – 130,000 150,000 – 200,000
Corporate Communications 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 90,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 200,000
Brand/Product Marketing 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 90,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 200,000
Marketing Management 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 90,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 200,000
Online/Digital Marketing 80,000 – 100,000 100,000 – 140,000 130,000 – 180,000 150,000 – 250,000
Business Development/Sales 70,000 – 90,000 90,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 250,000
Key Account Management 50,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 90,000 100,000 – 130,000 130,000 – 180,000

* Base salaries; exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options

Source: Hudson

3. Human Resources

‘Change is the only thing constant’ is truer for the Singapore markets currently than anywhere else. The Human Resources sector is likely to see an increase in demand for locals with experience, an appetite for change and can implement organisational changes effectively.

According to Kelly Services, hiring is will be strong in 2018 for the HR industry. As the industry gets ready for more automation, HR experts with skills in providing automation advice will be actively pursued.

Hudson says the most in-demand technical skills include productivity tools and HR information system tools and the most sought-after soft skills include the ability to drive and manage change and negotiating skills. The roles that will see the highest demand include internal talent acquisition, talent managers and HR analytics.

Salary trend for 2018* in SGD

Years of experience

Financial Services

4-8 years 8-12 years

12 years and up

HR Generalist/HR Business Partner 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 220,000 220,000+
Compensation & Benefits/Total Rewards 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 220,000 220,000+
Talent Acquisition/Recruitment 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 200,000 200,000+
Talent Management 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 220,000 220,000+
Learning & Development 80,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 220,000 220,000+

* Base salaries; exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options

Source: Hudson

Related: 5 Smart Promotion Tips You’ll Be Wise to Follow

4. Technology

According to Robert Walters, a recruitment consultancy, individuals with IT skills will be in high demand in 2018. This is all thanks to the digital transformation needs across sectors. Plus, our government is constantly working to build a stronger technology infrastructure in the quest to construct a smart nation.

Salary trend for 2018* in SGD

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 300,000 – 500,000
Chief Information Officer 250,000 – 500,000
Chief Data Officer 200,000 – 400,000
Chief Information Security Officer 200,000 – 350,000

* Base salaries; exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options

Source: Hudson

Are you in the right industry? If you’re looking to make a career switch, these tips will be able to help make it an easier transition.

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