The 2017 Salary Guide covers salary ranges for professionals working in Singapore across multiple industries.
2016 proved to be a very busy and interesting year for the Singapore recruitment market. There was a continuation of certain trends seen in the last few years but also some new trends which are worth noting and I will mention in this introduction. On a macro-level, like all the major APAC hubs, Singapore was subject to a number of major global headwinds – such as the continued slowdown in China, Brexit, the oil price, the continued commodities slump in price and more recently the Trump factor. In addition, more locally, the ever increasing cost of living in Singapore has really started to have more of an effect. The off shoring of roles trend began a couple of years ago. 2016 saw the largest amount of companies moving (or planning to move) all or part of their operations to lower cost locations, namely Malaysia, India and Philippines that have ever previously seen. 2017 will see a continuation of this. That being said, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly Singapore continually adapts to these constant challenges.
In the overall, there were no major material changes to salaries and job vacancy numbers. In addition, the numbers of available job seeking candidates also remained relatively unchanged. Having said that, the Singapore government introduced the Fair Consideration Framework a few years back and this has been gaining traction over the past few years. Whilst this has many positive results, the net effect has been that it has become more challenging to find suitable Singaporeans for certain roles. For example, in the Project Management space, the demand outweighs supply, leading to the significantly inflated salaries for those Singaporeans that are qualified in this area.
Positively, one of our biggest areas of growth in 2016 was recruiting for overseas businesses that are setting up their APAC headquarters in Singapore. Singapore remains a fantastic launch pad for a US, Chinese or European business to grow throughout APAC. The transparency, ease of setting up and doing of business, as well as the attractive low tax regime makes Singapore ideal in many ways. Additionally, the Singaporean government offers attractive incentives to companies, depending on the sector.
So, there are a number of other exciting trends that we expect to continue in 2017. Firstly, the continued rise in contracting! Working on a contract (as opposed to a permanent role) is not new to Singapore. However, the take up of this has dramatically increased over the past year. The numbers of contractors is at an all-time high, especially with Singaporeans. Contracting is often seen as allowing career minded individuals the flexibility to work on many interesting projects over a shorter period of time.
The ‘Fintech’ space remains a very exciting sector to work in. There have been a number of new and fast growing Fintech companies set up in Singapore. Singapore has very much established itself as a tech hub in recent years. The opportunities for high calibre, entrepreneurial individuals remain abundant in this area.
Other trends we have seen include the ever increasing demand for IT Security/Cyber crime experts. The regulatory space remains fairly buoyant, particularly in the Risk/IT Risk space and Audit. We are still seeing demand for good lawyers, strong Project Managers and Business Analysts. From a financial services perspective, hiring into investment banks appears to be at an all-time low. This is certainly a sign of the times but to a large extent the growth in demand for South East Asia based Private Bankers has made up for this.
Clearly, there are many other trends and observations that we have seen of late that will continue well into 2017 and beyond. Undoubtedly there will be many other trends that will affect us all in the year ahead, whether they be led by regulation, technology, political issues, economic issues or others.
This report will give you a good insight into the current remuneration values for many different roles and levels that we recruit for. I hope you find it useful and of course, if you ever want to discuss further then do not hesitate to contact us here in Singapore.
Need more information?
If you need any additional information on our Salary Guide please contact your local office.