, Singapore

Tech, healthcare sectors project highest salary increase for 2021: report

Managers who switch companies may see an increase of 5% to 10% in salary.

Hiring demand in Singapore is expected to be led by the tech and healthcare sectors in 2021, with research and development (R&D) as well as digitalisation functions expected to draw average salary increments of 15% for new skilled hires — making them the highest projected earning functions in Singapore for the year ahead, according to a report by RGF International Recruitment.

According to the firm's "Salary Watch 2021: Singapore" report, healthcare-related R&D and digital transformation functions are projected to have an increment of 15%, the highest salary increments for the year.

Meanwhile, upper-level positions such as general managers, sales directors, and R&D managers who switched jobs may see at least 5% increase in salary up to 15%.

The report observes that functions related to digitalisation will continue to be an area of focus across industries, as businesses seek to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, increase efficiencies, and cater to changing consumer preferences. However, skilled talent in this area remains short and, therefore, highly sought after.

A similar trend is seen for R&D talent in Singapore, who are in high demand but in short supply, resulting in increased competition and higher increments for this function amongst the industrial and healthcare sectors in particular. The rise in compensation for both functions is in line with global trends as digitalisation and innovation continue to be priority areas of investment across industries.

"While there have been many commendable efforts made by the Singapore government to bridge these skill gaps in the workforce, experienced senior talent, in particular, remains very hard to find", RGF Singapore Manaing Director Mike Wilkshire said, adding: "Employers hiring in these areas must be prepared, not only in terms of increasing compensation, but elevating their employer value proposition and speeding up their hiring process to beat the competition."

"This comes alongside the need for sustained efforts to upskill and prepare existing workforces to future-proof their business against skill shortages, as well as continuous upgrading of technical infrastructure to not only improve functionality, but attract top talent,” Mike Wilkshire added.

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