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Digital and e-commerce specialists in demand

Commercial businesses have been driving marketing hiring this year, with digital skills and e-commerce experience in particular in high demand.

Consumer focused and digital marketers are increasingly highly sought after, as businesses embrace the opportunities technology, data and e-commerce marketing can deliver.

Recruitment within the financial services sector has been conservative, with some organisations pausing all hiring activity, and others turning to short term staffing solutions such as restructuring existing teams. A similar approach has been seen within many FMCG organisations, with many companies focusing on restructuring their sales and marketing functions as opposed to increasing headcount.

“Counter-offers and buy-backs from existing employers remain common, with increased compensation being utilised as a key retention strategy by employers not wanting to lose top talent,” said Wendy Heng, Associate Director at Robert Walters Singapore.

The competition for talent with specialist experience remains fierce, with many candidates receiving multiple offers as well as significant counter-offers from their current employers.

Key hiring areas

The rise in digital marketing has resulted in businesses seeking marketing professionals with specialist experience/qualifications in specific e-commerce marketing strategies.

The rise in digital marketing has resulted in businesses seeking marketing professionals with specialist experience/qualifications in specific e-commerce marketing strategies.

Elsewhere, within the healthcare and pharmaceutical space, employers are adapting to differing business changes with companies undergoing mergers and acquisitions, changes in product portfolios and shifts in focus towards blockbuster and specialty care products. 

"Due to low oil prices, the majority of industrial companies have restricted their sales and marketing hires and businesses are focusing on streamlining their headcount for the remainder of the year," continued Wendy Heng.

There has been a shortage of specialist sales and marketing professionals over the past 12 months which has been exacerbated with clients submitting very specific requests for candidates with niche experience. Employers are advised to broaden their hiring requirements so as not to miss out on top talent with slightly different experience than originally sought as the best sales and marketing professionals can often learn new skills and their experience is transferrable.

Salaries for sales and marketing professionals throughout Singapore have remained relatively flat in the first half of the year, with standard annual increases of 1-3% being offered. This is expected to continue as companies remain conservative in their economic outlook.

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