Hiring in Technology and Transformation (Contract): Market expected to remain buoyant for tech contracting roles in 2023

Stephanie Tan, Senior Consultant at Robert Walters Singapore

Demand for local tech talent remained hot in 2022, even as Singapore’s tech industry draws a large portion of its talent from other countries. “With increased EP costs and S Pass quota limits in place, companies have turned towards local candidates to fill open roles. In the past year, local candidates were spoilt for choice as companies competed to win them over. Companies were also making hires based on their potential, with the intention of training these candidates,” notes Stephanie Tan, Senior Consultant at Robert Walters Singapore.

These limitations have spurred companies to find new ways to meet their talent needs. Many companies hired candidates based remotely in other countries such as India or Vietnam, particularly for roles that required hands-on, technical skill sets. They have also begun setting up global teams based in more than one country to ensure business continuity even when there are festivities in a particular region.

Read on to find out more as Stephanie shares her expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Technology & Transformation professionals in 2023, with an emphasis on contracting roles.

Opportunities abound for contract, remote workers

The tail end of 2022 saw MNCs putting hiring freezes in place in anticipation of budget cuts. Nevertheless, Stephanie shares, “We foresee that companies will take the contracting route to hire hands-on talent for ongoing projects. As a recession looms ahead with the Russia-Ukraine war, it’s likely that more workers will take on contract positions as well.”

Adding on to that, she says, “Remote work will be the trend moving forward as companies start diversifying their resources.”

Technical skill sets continue to be in demand

Companies will need talent that can help bring products and solutions to life. “Full stack developers will continue to be highly sought after, especially if they are skilled in Python, Java or C#. The same goes for candidates with proven experience in UI/UX,” says Stephanie.

Stephanie also mentions that the market will also seek out talent in L2 production support, cloud infrastructure solutions and cybersecurity.

Promote an inspirational, flexible work culture

The tech space is a candidate-driven market, and it’s common for candidates to switch jobs after one to two years in a role. Stephanie observes that setting aside very senior or experienced, mature candidates, it’s rare to come across hands-on, technical candidates that have remained in a position for more than four years. “Candidates know their worth in today’s market. Generally, they don’t hesitate to quit their jobs if they feel underappreciated or if they find greener pastures elsewhere,” she says.

Bearing this in mind, she advises that companies attract talent by developing an inspirational culture. Besides sponsoring courses for employees to upskill and learn different technologies, companies should also accommodate salary increments and flexible work arrangements.

Remote work will be the future trend as companies start diversifying resources.

Salaries on the rise in 2023

Companies are doing whatever they can to retain talent. While companies are already increasing their budgets for in-demand roles, there will likely be a trend towards improving benefits to win over the best talent.

“Already, we’ve seen companies give out education funds for their employees. Global tech consultancy HCLTech, for instance, has provisioned an annual education fund of $9,000 for all non Singaporean/PR employee,” Stephanie explains.

Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends for Technology and Transformation (Contract) professionals in Singapore.