Saturday, March 17, 2012

Singapore Job market and salary outlook 2012

Robert Walters has just released their Salary Survey 2012 which includes detailed summary of 2010/2011 and outlook for 2012 in different industries. The survey in Singapore covers accounting & finance, banking & financial services, engineering, HR, IT, sales & marketing as well as supply chain, procurement & logistics and also includes a table of minimum and maximum salaries for various job titles in these industries. For the Singapore job market outlook for 2012 Robert Walters say:

"Going into 2012, we anticipate initial prudent hiring as employers across all industries gauge market sentiment before making any recruitment decisions. We expect cautious hiring across most industries in the first quarter
in 2012 in line with typical hiring trends, with recruitment activity picking up in the second quarter
after bonus payouts and when economic conditions improve. There is likely to be an influx of engineering, HR, secretarial support, IT and sales and marketing roles for candidates specialising in the FMCG, IT and telecommunications and industrial sectors, due to continuing growth in these areas."

Here are some highlights from the report for various industries:

Accounting & Finance
Robert Walters expect employers to remain cautious and to continue to focus on replacement hiring in 2012. They expect salary levels to increase marginally in 2012. But Aerospace and pharmaceutical domains can be exception where investment and growth is still continuing. 

Candidates will expect at least a 20% increase to their salaries when moving roles but will be disappointed since employers are unlikely to be able to match these expectations. So, Robert Walters expect actual increments to be around 12-18% this year.

Banking & Financial Services : Front Office Banking
Robert Walters foresee job movement to be minimal unless there are great improvements in the global economy at large, with a slowdown in the Asian economies being a concern. Overall, salary levels for 2012 are likely to remain similar to 2011. 

Within the corporate and commercial banking sector,  recruitment is likely to be restricted to replacement and business-critical roles with a reduction in growth hires while across transactional banking, they expect hiring to continue sporadically in 2012:

Trade finance has been on the rise within this space, with institutions focusing on intra-regional transactions across Asia, (as opposed to those based in the United States and Europe). In keeping with this trend, implementation professionals are likely to be in demand, particularly those who are able to develop and structure revenue-generating products such as foreign exchange, liquidity and short-term investments.
Some growth can be expected within investment management in 2012 due to the overall global interest in Asia. In wealth management, we expect institutions to move into 2012 with caution, scrutinizing the quality of each appointment. Bankers with strong AUMs will always be highly sought-after. Priority banking firms are expected to be more aggressive than private banking institutions in adding headcount.

Banking & Financial Services : Middle & Back Office Banking
obert Walters expect restrained recruitment activity in the first half of the year during when institutions will reduce recruitment levels to optimize costs. Banks will be looking for professionals with strong product knowledge, a demonstrable track record and excellent communication skills, preferably with competency in another major Asian language.

Good news is that according to the paper, banks are increasingly appreciating the cost of replacing experienced employees and therefore putting more effort into retaining their top talents. 

Banking & Financial Services : Finance
Robert Walters expect recruitment activity to continue and  salary levels to remain stable in 2012 because due to their critical nature, finance roles are unlikely to be off shored to lower-cost locations which they have seen for a number of production roles in 2011. 

RW anticipates steady demand for financial controller positions and process improvement professionals will also be in demand.

Unfortunate for engineers who are looking for a new job in 2012, RW predicts a slower growth as large multinational companies start implementing head-count freezes due to an uncertain economic environment. Many organisations are expected to focus on maintaining and preserving their existing revenue and customer base until the market experiences a period of growth again.

Human Resources

RW anticipates hiring to remain consistent in Singapore in human resources despite global market uncertainty. They expect overall salary levels to remain stable but average salary increases for job movers should remain at around 15%. RW expects HR generalists and business partners to receive higher salaries in 2012 due to the demand for these candidates.

Information Technology
RW thinks the outlook for IT jobs in Asia will be better than Europe and North America and IT hiring levels remain relatively strong.  In 2012, Project developers, project managers, solutions architects and technical architects will remain sought-after. Average salary increase expectation should be around 15% for job movers in 2012, talent retention will be a key challenge for IT companies.

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