CFOs in Singapore Will Award Above-Average Pay Rise to Retain Top Finance Talent

CFOs in Singapore are willing to offer above-average pay rise to their top finance employees this year, as they find it tough to recruit qualified finance and accounting professionals, said Robert Half recently.

The overwhelming majority—99%—of the 75 Singaporean CFOs surveyed by the recruitment firm plan to award an average pay rise of 7% to 25% of their finance staff, Robert Half’s 2018 Salary Guide indicates, adding that 51% of CFOs expect higher voluntary employee turnover in their teams in 2018.

According to guide, the top five areas in finance and accounting that are most challenging to find skilled candidates in Singapore are:

  • cost accounting (39%)
  • financial planning & analysis (39%)
  • credit management (35%)
  • corporate finance/M&A (35%)
  • risk/compliance (33%)

Work-life balance options key to employee retention

While salary remains a significant part of a remuneration package in Singapore, work-life balance is a key factor employers need to consider when trying to retain employees, Robert Half advised.

“There’s been a steady shift of preferences from jobseekers who look for more work-life balance, and even prioritize non-financial incentives other than just a higher salary,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore. “Firms looking to attract and retain top performers need to consider other non-financial incentives, such as workplace flexibility and the option to work from home, especially if they are not in a position to award pay increases or above-average salary rates.”

Training and professional development programs (57%), flexible and/or remote working opportunities (51%), employee appreciation initiatives (49%), employee wellness programs, and regular salary reviews (43%) are among the most popular retention initiatives, according to the guide.

“As part of our retention strategy, we promote training, flexible work hours, work-at-home options, as well as diversity and inclusion. We also frequently offer roles within other departments and countries,” said Angie Lim, Global Account CFO at Jones Lang LaSalle, one of the CFO survey respondents.

Budget for hiring temporary finance executives

As it is increasingly tough to have access to the required skill mix, 91% of CFOs have allocated budget to hire temporary finance and accounting staff in 2018, the guide says.

The top five areas where CFOs allocate budget to hire temporary finance executives include:

  • accounting (55%)
  • controllership (43%)
  • compliance (31%)
  • audit (29%)
  • business/financial analysis (24%)