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Expected salary gains in IT, finance, financial services in Singapore 2017

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A rising demand for highly-skilled professionals coupled with the growing skills shortage are pushing salaries of IT, finance, and financial services professionals up.

In 2017, according to the latest Robert Half salary guide, IT professionals can expect a starting salary gain of 3.2%, above the national salary growth of 2.7%, suggesting companies are willing to pay competitively for top IT talent. As for those in the finance and financial services sector, wages are set to grow by an average of 1.2% respectively in 2017.

With rising living costs worry 85% of Singapore’s employees, it’s not surprising that pay is a significant motivator.

Yet slightly more than half (51%) of Singapore’s IT workforce felt they are not being paid a fair salary considering their job responsibilities, with 47% saying their pay is not in proportion with their daily workload.

In line with that, the report also found that when IT professionals felt they were not being paid a fair salary with their current employer, 92% of them were willing to accept a job offer with a higher salary. However, it also noted that 70% were less inclined to look for a new job after they receive a pay rise, compounding the need to pay competitively.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director at Robert Half Singapore said: “Singaporean companies are currently in the race for digitisation and those that are quickest to adapt and at the cutting edge of innovation will be able to gain the strongest market share. Because of this digital acceleration, the shortage of skilled IT professionals who are able to manage complex IT systems, data and analytics projects is becoming more apparent.”

He also noted that in a candidate-short market, Singaporean businesses were prepared to pay competitively to secure the best IT talent.

Top five IT jobs with the biggest salary gains in 2017

1. Security analyst/consultant

  • Industry: commerce and industry
  • Years of experience: 4-7 years
  • 2017 minimum: $80,000
  • 2017 maximum: $110,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 18.8%

2. Security analyst/consultant

  • Industry: commerce and industry
  • Years of experience: >10 years
  • 2017 minimum: $115,000
  • 2017 maximum: $155,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 14.9%

3. Security analyst/consultant

  • Industry: financial services
  • Years of experience: >10 years
  • 2017 minimum: $130,000
  • 2017 maximum: $180,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 14.8%

4. Security analyst/consultant

  • Industry: financial services
  • Years of experience: 4-7 years
  • 2017 minimum: $100,000
  • 2017 maximum: $130,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 12.2%

5. IT audit/IT risk

  • Industry: commerce and industry
  • Years of experience: 4-7 years
  • 2017 minimum: $70,000
  • 2017 maximum: $90,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 10.3%

READ MORE: Starting salary for Singapore’s SUTD fresh graduates is S$3,853

Similarly, despite the slow wage growth in the finance and financial services sectors, the report noted that Singaporean companies need to be aware of industry-standard salary benchmarks to secure and hold onto top talent.

The report noted that an overwhelming majority (97%) of Singapore’s CFOs find it challenging to source skilled finance professionals. Compounding the current skills shortage, 40% of CFOs within financial services indicate a lack of skilled talent as one of the top factors that will shape the financial services landscape in 2017.

Yet, more than a third of those in finance and accounting (35%) and 40% of those in financial services said they earn a salary that is below industry average, leaving employees increasingly open to other job opportunities when offered more attractive remuneration packages. Thankfully, 64% of finance and accounting professionals, 60% of those in financial services believe they earn a wage that is close, the same or higher than the industry average.

Imbert-Bouchard said: “Singaporean companies are under cost pressure, which is impacting salary growth for finance and financial services professionals. However, the ‘war for talent’ continues, and companies need to take proactive steps to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market which inevitably includes reviewing salaries.”

“With salaries under pressure in many organisations, businesses need to also consider non-monetary benefits as key motivators for their staff. Job sustainability and benefits supporting work-life balance such as flexible working arrangements are gaining importance and are very strong incentives for employees,” Imbert-Bouchard added.

Top five financial services jobs with the highest salary gains

1. Front office dealer manager/AVP

  • 2017 minimum: $85,000
  • 2017 maximum: $140,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 9.8%

2. Credit risk senior VP/managing director

  • 2017 minimum: $230,000+
  • 2017 maximum: $230,000+
  • Year-on-year growth: 9.5%

3. Insurance analyst

  • 2017 minimum: $42,000
  • 2017 maximum: $90,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 8.2%

4. Compliance/anti-money laundering analyst

  • 2017 minimum: $45,000
  • 2017 maximum: $78,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 7.0%

5. Fund accounting manager/AVP

  • 2017 minimum:  $62,000
  • 2017 maximum: $110,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 6.2%

ALSO READ: Singapore’s salary and employment outlook across 6 functions

Top five finance jobs with the highest salary gains

1. Senior tax analyst in a large organisation

  • 2017 minimum: $72,000
  • 2017 maximum: $110,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 5.8%

2. Cost accounting manager in a small/medium-sized organisation

  • 2017 minimum: $80,000
  • 2017 maximum: $110,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 5.6%

3. Accounting/finance manager in a small/medium-sized organisation

  • 2017 minimum: $82,000
  • 2017 maximum: $110,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 5.5%

4. Financial planning and business analyst in a small/medium-sized organisation

  • 2017 minimum: $50,000
  • 2017 maximum: $75,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 4.2%

5. Financial planning and business analyst in a large organisation

  • 2017 minimum: $60,000
  • 2017 maximum: $105,000
  • Year-on-year growth: + 3.1%

READ MORE: Singapore’s salary and job trends for 2017

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