Singapore has not been exempt from the slowdown in the tech market in 2023. Faiz Modak, Associate Director at Robert Walters Singapore, relates that businesses have reviewed their hiring strategies as purse strings have tightened. This comes as funding for tech startups have dried up and many tech stocks have been trending negatively.
What’s more, many foreign tech talent have also left Singapore for other locations – a knock-on effect from rental spikes in the city over the last year.
“On the bright side, there is still a need for talent in areas such as software engineering, digital transformation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and security,” points out Faiz. “Although there have been fewer new tech projects and upgrades in the banking and financial services space compared to last year, we haven’t seen many layoffs in that space.”
Read on to find out more about Faiz’s expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for Singapore’s Tech & Transformation professionals in 2024, with an emphasis on roles in projects and change management.
Faiz says that many firms have taken a right-sizing approach to the business over the past year, with efforts centred on consolidating and upskilling their existing workforce. Given the challenging economic climate that isn’t likely to let up anytime soon, this will likely remain the case for 2024.
Companies will concentrate on lowering spending in areas that are deemed inessential, while pushing for as much productivity as possible – all to drive profitability and sustained business growth.
The overarching push towards cost efficiency in the industry suggests that companies will continue re-consolidating “non-essential” functions and roles to save costs. Faiz foresees that there will be a continued focus on hiring local talent, given the implementation of the new points-based COMPASS framework for hiring foreign talent.
Furthermore, there will also be significant demand for senior and experienced talent capable of driving top-line revenue. Candidates with hands-on technical expertise and a functional understanding of business domains will also continue to be sought after.
Proficiency with the latest technologies and international work experience will also be highly advantageous.
The most sought after roles in the sector will be heads of digital, and heads of business transformation, business analysts and product owners, and Scrum Masters and Agile coaches.
Compared to during the COVID-19 pandemic, candidates now have a very different outlook to the job market. Salary aside, candidates prioritise work-life balance, learning opportunities and job security.
“In addition to restructuring the compensation and benefits package, companies can look at what more they can do in these aspects to attract and retain talent,” Faiz advises. “Many firms have already invested in training programs and mental health and diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. Employees appreciate being in an environment that fosters healthy work-life balance.”
According to Faiz, companies have indicated a 3 – 5% year-on-year salary increment for existing employees, bearing in mind the increased cost of living and inflation in Singapore. Some firms also intend to carry out industry benchmarking exercises, which may bring existing salaries up to market standards.
Job movers can expect a 10 – 15% increase in salaries in 2024.
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Tech & Transformation, Singapore
With over 14 years of tech recruitment experience under his belt, Faiz currently heads the tech recruitment space for perm and contracts roles.
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