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Internal auditors, business development managers and HR generalists are a selection of professionals who are desperately being sought by Singaporean employers to refill critical roles.
According to a report by Hays, candidate movement has increased the need to replace critical departing staff, but the vacancies also allude to companies creating new roles in the changing business environment.
As a result of this, overall vacancy is expected to increase this quarter, said Chris Mead, regional directors of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia.
Mead noted one challenge comes in the preference for local candidates, as employers prefer Singaporeans due to tightening government visa regulations for foreigners.
“But given the shortage of local talent in many professional areas, demand will continue to outweigh supply,” he said.
Here are a selection of skills in demand in Singapore, taken from the latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots report:
1. Tax professionals – Most in demand are candidates with a mix of both commercial and private practice experience.
2. Consolidation – Employers look for candidates with relevant experience, but a number of candidates are moving out of consolidation roles and into positions where they are closer to the business.
3. Internal auditors – Auditors with both commercial and audit firm experience are sought. Candidates in this role tend to move into other areas of finance after a few years.
4. Valuers – These professionals are in demand by accountancy firms, but many are lured by the corporate sector’s higher salaries, better working hours and improved career development opportunities.
5. Costing – Banks and financial services companies continue to cut costs and make efficiencies, which fuels demand for top quality costing professionals.
6. Risk and compliance – Continual changes in the regulatory landscape have seen vacancies increase for risk and compliance professionals.
7. Site managers/Construction managers, tunnel engineers, tunnel managers and quantity surveyors – Permanent vacancy activity will increase in response to upcoming MRT projects. Given Singapore’s low unemployment rate and construction skill shortages, high demand will be evident.
8. Customer service executives – Employers want professionals with Mandarin fluency to support growing customer bases in Taiwan and China.
9. Telesales executives – In this challenging and stressful role not all candidates excel, but those who do are in high demand.
10. Structural managers – There is a gap in the market for locally trained and professionally registered engineers with leadership capabilities in the structural field.
11. Core Java skills – Employers are looking for core Java skills at Analyst/AVP levels in the areas of equity, electronic trading, OTC trading and credit risk.
12. HR generalists – Generalist HR candidates are in high demand, particularly those with a multinational corporation background, but there is a shortage of such talent as companies take steps to retain their good HR generalists by providing them with solid career development opportunities. HR Business Partners are also sought after, but there is a shortage of candidates who understand the business and are able to communicate effectively with senior stakeholders.
13. Mobile developers – Growth in the start-up and e-commerce sector in Singapore is generating demand for strong Mobile developers.
14. Technical pre-sales professionals – Telecommunications companies and IT hardware, software and services vendors need experienced technical pre-sales professionals to help them grow into APAC markets.
15. Cloud architects/engineers – As more companies move from traditional infrastructures to cloud models, the demand for IT professionals with experience in cloud is increasing faster than the talent market can supply.
16. Underwriters – There is a shortage of Underwriters in the local market and therefore competition to attract the top talent is high.
17. Corporate secretariat managers – As a reflection of the stronger requirement for corporate governance and transparency, businesses now seek experienced ICSA qualified candidates.
18. API process engineers (chemical engineering) – As Asia plays a more significant role in manufacturing for MNCs, local sites are increasing capabilities and more product lines are being transferred from sister plants in Europe or the US. This expansion requires experts in technical engineering to help smoothly transfer the technologies and processes from around the world back to the local sites.
19. Regional communications and public affairs – This is a very sensitive and highly public area of pharmaceutical companies. Organisations need to ensure all communications are compliant and yet attract consumers’ attention.
20. Secretaries (banking) – Turnover traditionally peaks in the banking industry before the bonus period comes up again, and this year is no different.
21. Reservoir engineers, senior geophysicists & geologists – With existing and new fields in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam in particular driving the Asian oil and gas market, local independent operators and majors are continually looking for candidates to support offshore and onshore drilling operations.
22. Buyers – Movement at the junior level has created opportunities in Singapore for buyers. Employers are looking for both generalists as well as candidates with niche product experience.
23. Retail fit-out project managers – The retail industry is constantly updating, so the sector needs candidates to manage the fit-out of retail stores. Demand for these skills comes from all parties including developers, retailers, fit out contractors, ID consultancies and project management consultancies.
24. Senior project managers (hotel or mixed) – The boom in Singapore’s hotel industry has developers looking for experienced project managers to manage large-scale projects. They are looking for people with contractor side experience, as well as on the consultant side and the client/developer side.
25. Market intelligence managers – Companies are looking to improve their understanding of consumer behaviour and buying patterns.
26. Business development managers – There is continued demand for sales generation and top-line growth candidates.
27. Demand supply forecasters – Demand supply forecasters are sought to monitor supply stock levels and improve demand forecast accuracy, as well as convey these forecasts to internal and external production to ensure the timely and optimised supply of finished goods to the respective markets.
28. Supply chain planners – It takes efficient end-to-end planning to fulfil orders in a timely fashion. As a result, employers are looking for efficient supply chain professionals who can review the feasibility of customers’ orders and offer solutions.