Search

COMMENTARY
HR & EDUCATION | Contributed Content, Singapore
Published: 24 Feb 12
1854 views


Asia’s resilience drives salary growth in Singapore

Singapore’s workforce can expect an average salary increase of between three and six per cent this year. That’s one key finding from our 2012 Hays Salary Guide, out this month.

We found that 44 per cent of employers in Singapore increased salaries last year between three and six per cent. A further 21 per cent gave an increase above six per cent. But 28 per cent gave increases of less than three percent, while the final seven per cent gave no increase at all.

Looking ahead, 50 per cent of employers in Singapore intend to increase salaries between three and six per cent when they next review. A further 23 per cent will increase above six per cent. But 22 per cent of employers intend to increase salaries less than three per cent and five per cent intend to offer no increases when they next review.

According to our survey of employers, in the next 12 months 64 per cent of employers expect business activity to increase and 41 per cent expect their permanent staff levels to increase. But skills shortages will remain an ongoing issue. Almost all employers across Asia who were surveyed (95 per cent) believe that skills shortages have the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department.

Furthermore, in skill-short areas 66 per cent of employers said they would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate. Singapore in particular is casting the net wide when a suitable local applicant cannot be located, although there has been a strong reduction in expatriate packages. Those that were on expatriate packages have been converted to local packages and benefits such as housing and living allowance have been incorporated into the base salary.

We found that 54 per cent of employers intend to award a bonus to more than 50 per cent of staff, down 10 per cent year-on-year. Instead, the use of benefits is rising. They are now offered by 81 per cent of employers, up from 78 per cent year-on-year. Health, life assurance, pension and car or car allowance are popular benefits.

Other trends for Singapore by sector are as follows:

Accountancy & Finance:
Cost, regulatory, product control and corporate governance expertise will remain in greatest demand, although we also expect to see career opportunities in all areas for talented professionals since Singapore’s market is fundamentally strong.

Architecture:
Both local and MNC consultancies seek commercial and LTA experienced Architects and salaries for these candidates have risen. Hands-on Architects with a portfolio of local and regional projects and candidates with MRT experience are also needed.  

Banking:
Corporate finance has experienced an increase in deals, creating opportunities for those candidates with a corporate finance or M&A background.

Engineering & Construction:
Construction is an active market and the mass rapid transport expansion as well as environmental and water projects have fuelled tremendous engineering jobs growth. Estimators, Project Directors, Project Managers, WSHO’s, Design Engineers/Managers and infrastructure, rail and tunnelling professionals are all needed. 

Finance Technology:
The project and program space continues to see demand for candidates with consulting or professional service backgrounds as banks reduce spend by bringing resources in-house. There is also a need for business experienced Project Managers, skills in C++, C# and Java in the development space. Demand for infrastructure-related skills remains constant.

Human Resources:
Newly created roles are increasing and there is a shortage of good business partners, although this has not affected salaries. We are experiencing demand within the talent acquisition space and salaries have increased. The commerce and industry sector will continue to grow this year, and salaries will increase given the candidate-driven nature of the market.

Information Technology:
Project budgets have increased and companies have started to again pay good bonuses. Candidates who focus on building a long-term career in Singapore are being rewarded with high salaries over a long period of time. Hiring is increasing in infrastructure and demand remains high for cloud computing specialists. We expect to see new roles in the IT development space.

Insurance:
As firms strengthen their footing throughout Asia Pacific, demand remains for core business critical roles such as underwriting, particularly at the regional, senior or management level. Project management, operations, process re-engineering, product development and actuarial candidates are also needed to help with operational changes. Salaries remain stable.

Legal:
A number of foreign law firms are expanding and moving into Singapore. They prefer to recruit local qualified candidates due to their familiarity with the regulatory environment and context. Demand for international arbitration, funds, private wealth management and corporate finance candidates remains high. Salaries are moving upwards in candidate short areas.

Life Sciences:
Job vacancies are rising across market access, pricing and reimbursement and health economics. These are relatively new skills in Asia and salaries remain competitive to entice specialists from the US and Europe. Overall, continued investment will ensure a high number of job vacancies in 2012.
Office Professionals: 

Global companies expanding into Singapore need experienced Office Managers and EAs with local knowledge. Legal Secretaries are in demand in law firms that are opening or expanding. Financial services and commerce and industry employers are using contractors and temporaries. Salaries have stayed the same with a slight increase for junior roles.

Oil & Gas:
The predicted global oil and gas boom is creating a shortage of candidates as companies compete globally for the best talent. Salaries continue to increase for subsea engineering and project controls candidates as well as senior executives and engineers with 20 or more years of experience in South East Asia. Permanent salaries have returned to pre-recession levels.

Property:
Green mark certified Project Managers and Engineers are in demand but the shortage of candidates has led to higher salary offers. As projects are awarded, facilities management and leasing candidates are sought. The increase in new commercial and residential buildings means property management and leasing specialists are needed.

Sales & Marketing:
In the early months of this year we expect budgets to remain tight. But since sales and marketing remains a key priority for organisations, continual hiring across industries will be seen. Given the ongoing shortage of strong talent, high-performers with regional experience and a strong Asia Pacific network are in high demand.

Supply Chain:
Employers in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, oil and gas and chemicals industries continue to expand and need candidates with relevant skills and experience. While specialised skill sets command a premium salary package, employers are mindful of escalating business costs and so they continue to offer competitive local packages.

The 2012 Hays Salary Guide reveals salary and recruiting trends for 1,100 roles across Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan and was based on a survey of over 900 employers as well as placements made by Hays.

Access the 2012 Hays Salary Guide at www.hays.com.sg/salary, by contacting your local Hays office or by downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2012 iPhone app from iTunes.  

Chris Mead,  Regional Director of Hays in South East Asia 

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.



Sign up for our newsletter

 

Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.

Click here to learn about advertising, content sponsorship, events & rountables, custom media solutions, whitepaper writing, sales leads or eDM opportunities with us.

To get a media kit and information on advertising or sponsoring click here.

Tags: Chris Mead, Hays in South East Asia, salary Singapore

LATEST HR & EDUCATION JOBS »
PRINT ISSUE »

Subscribe Now
Trains, planes, automobiles and drones

190 views

As goes Hong Kong, so goes Singapore?

1601 views

Office property shows no signs of a slowdown

468 views

MOST READ EXCLUSIVES

13 most exclusive credit cards in Singapore

13 most exclusive credit cards in Singapore

Some of which you’ve probably not heard of.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
27 Aug 2014 | 122318 views
 

Singapore's 12 most influential business professors under 40

Singapore\'s 12 most influential business professors under 40

The youngest is aged 34.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
23 Oct 2014 | 63745 views

11 craziest credit card purchases in Singapore

11 craziest credit card purchases in Singapore

Find out if each is worth the outlay.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
22 Sep 2014 | 43528 views
 

Singapore’s 7 hot new restaurants in September

Singapore’s 7 hot new restaurants in September

Have you checked out a very secretive cafe at 48 ¾ Niven Road?

by KRISANA GALLEZO
6 Oct 2014 | 24474 views

Singapore’s 8 hotels coming your way next year

Singapore’s 8 hotels coming your way next year

A total of 3,458 hotel rooms will soon be available.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
8 Sep 2014 | 22890 views
 

Singapore’s 8 hot new restaurants in August

Singapore’s 8 hot new restaurants in August

Get a taste of an aromatic broken rice dish without MSG.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
4 Sep 2014 | 13072 views

Check out General Motors’ new HQ in Singapore

Check out General Motors’ new HQ in Singapore

A ‘hot desks’ rule is implemented in the new office.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
3 Oct 2014 | 11401 views
 

Have you been to The Providore Warehouse yet?

Have you been to The Providore Warehouse yet?

Check out some photos inside.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
1 Sep 2014 | 11073 views

Singapore’s 10 favorite meals on wheels

Singapore’s 10 favorite meals on wheels

You better cut the pizza: An Italian dish bagged the number 1 spot.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
17 Oct 2014 | 10772 views
 

Have spare time before boarding? Dine in at Old Chang Kee’s first Changi Airport outlet

Have spare time before boarding? Dine in at Old Chang Kee’s first Changi Airport outlet

The new outlet’s construction cost more than half a million dollars.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
11 Sep 2014 | 6490 views

Don’t settle for less: Legendary Hong Kong brings authentic and traditional HK dishes to Singapore

Don’t settle for less: Legendary Hong Kong brings authentic and traditional HK dishes to Singapore

The restaurant’s construction cost over a million dollars.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
3 Nov 2014 | 5994 views
 

5 craziest things you can't imagine founders would do to make their startup successful

5 craziest things you can\'t imagine founders would do to make their startup successful

Will you jump out of the plane flying at over 15K ft  just to catch a potential client?

by KRISANA GALLEZO
3 Sep 2014 | 5821 views

The wait is over: Japanese restaurant chain ON-YASAI finally hits Singapore

The wait is over: Japanese restaurant chain ON-YASAI finally hits Singapore

10 to 15 more outlets coming over the next 5 years.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
28 Aug 2014 | 4983 views
 

Get ready to work and play at Spotify’s regional office

Get ready to work and play at Spotify’s regional office

All the furniture except the bean bags were imported from Sweden.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
23 Sep 2014 | 4768 views

Opera Estate welcomes a little bar simply called ‘Slake’

Opera Estate welcomes a little bar simply called ‘Slake’

It wants to be your living/dining room outside of home.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
25 Sep 2014 | 4087 views
 

The new Acronis HQ will make you feel like ‘walking into blue space’

The new Acronis HQ will make you feel like ‘walking into blue space’

Also, check out photos of its 7-eleven-like pantry amenities.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
28 Oct 2014 | 4039 views

Sofitel in Sentosa launches world's largest So SPA

Sofitel in Sentosa launches world\'s largest So SPA

Future plans are finally revealed.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
22 Oct 2014 | 3459 views
 

These NUS students boldly suggest removal of Malaysian Airlines' CEO to survive

These NUS students boldly suggest removal of Malaysian Airlines\' CEO to survive

That's just one part of the strategy.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
16 Sep 2014 | 3393 views

Want to know a ‘smart’ way to have your clothes washed?

Want to know a ‘smart’ way to have your clothes washed?

My Laundry Box introduces a smart laundry locker platform that works with an app.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
17 Oct 2014 | 2804 views
 

Could this be the most intelligent phonebook app yet?

Could this be the most intelligent phonebook app yet?

It’s self-updating and removes duplicates for worry-free contacts storage.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
29 Sep 2014 | 2799 views

Will you take up the challenge to live on $5 a day and share the experience?

Will you take up the challenge to live on $5 a day and share the experience?

This campaign already generated over 8,000 followers on Facebook.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
23 Sep 2014 | 2798 views
 

Arete Culture opens first store in Lam Soon Building

Arete Culture opens first store in Lam Soon Building

It's a one-stop shop for your quirky interior decors.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
24 Sep 2014 | 2748 views

Worry about your loved ones’ whereabouts no more

Worry about your loved ones’ whereabouts no more

Folr introduces a real-time geo-location tracking mobile app that also details where they were.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
5 Sep 2014 | 2719 views
 

Noël Caleb Concept Store opens September 29

Noël Caleb Concept Store opens September 29

It targets women wanting to wear designs not found anywhere in the world.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
10 Sep 2014 | 2066 views

Do you want to build your own bike?

Do you want to build your own bike?

This store allows owners to creatively piece bike parts on their own.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
28 Oct 2014 | 1955 views
 

Hippy Tyrwhitt Road welcomes a resto-bar offering an all-day happy hour

Hippy Tyrwhitt Road welcomes a resto-bar offering an all-day happy hour

See how a radio DJ pursued his love for food.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
20 Oct 2014 | 1668 views

Check out the colorful AkzoNobel House designed through Dulux and automotive paints

Check out the colorful AkzoNobel House designed through Dulux and automotive paints

Its color and vibrance is inspired by ‘architecturally interesting’ Arab Street.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
28 Aug 2014 | 1622 views
 

ShopandBox allows you to shop anytime, anywhere around the globe without limits

ShopandBox allows you to shop anytime, anywhere around the globe without limits

The service will be extended to small businesses soon.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
26 Aug 2014 | 1260 views

3 men in their 30s built a pro-bono startup incubator

3 men in their 30s built a pro-bono startup incubator

Find out how Angels Gate Advisory plan to make Singapore the next Silicon Valley.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
2 Sep 2014 | 1113 views
 

CreoPop 3D pen with cool inks raised US$185K in crowdfunding

CreoPop 3D pen with cool inks raised US$185K in crowdfunding

It is so safe that even your children can use it.

by KRISANA GALLEZO
11 Sep 2014 | 1034 views
close Don't Show Again

STAY INFORMED! Get our free weekly newsletter