Despite cautious hiring sentiment and stable remuneration policies, the overwhelming majority (97%) of Singapore’s CFOs find it challenging to source skilled finance professionals, according to the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide.
Compounding the current skills shortage, 40% of CFOs within financial services indicate a lack of skilled talent as one of the top factors that will shape the financial services landscape in 2017. This is placing Singapore’s finance and financial services workers in a prime position to leverage the growing skills shortage, increase their market value and negotiate higher pay.
“Singaporean companies are under cost pressure, which is impacting salary growth for finance and financial services professionals,” says Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore.
“However, the ‘war for talent’ continues, and companies need to take proactive steps to attract and retain top talent in a competitive market which inevitably includes reviewing salaries. Top finance professionals who are aware of their market value can fully leverage this shortage to negotiate a higher starting salary.”
Capitalize on the growing skills shortage
While salary levels for most finance and financial services workers in Singapore have remained steady over the past 12 months, professionals can capitalize on the growing skills shortage to negotiate higher pay.
The 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide has identified the finance and financial services roles that can expect the highest pay gains in 2017.
Starting salaries for finance and accounting, and financial services and banking professionals are set to grow by an average of 1.2% respectively in 2017.
Despite slow wage growth, Singaporean companies need to be aware of industry-standard salary benchmarks to secure and hold onto top talent.
Independent Robert Half research found that while 64% of finance and accounting, and 60% of financial services workers in Singapore believe they earn a wage that is close, the same or higher than the industry average, respectively 35% and 40% say they earn a salary that is below industry average, leaving employees increasingly open to other job opportunities when offered more attractive remuneration packages.
Imbert-Bouchard notes that finance and financial services professionals looking to earn more pay will need to evolve their role beyond just number-crunching to add significant value to the company.
Professionals with well-honed IT skills will be highly sought-after as the growing influence of technology continues to impact the finance and financial services sectors.
Finance professionals skilled in ERP systems, accounting and reporting software and familiar with automation processes will be in a strong position to negotiate a higher salary.
“With salaries under pressure in many organizations, businesses need to also consider non-monetary benefits as key motivators for their staff. Job sustainability and benefits supporting work-life balance such as flexible working arrangements are gaining importance and are very strong incentives for employees,” Imbert-Bouchard concluded.