Permanent recruitment within accounting and finance remained reasonably buoyant in the first half of 2014, according to the Robert Walters Mid Year Market Update 2014 Singapore.
Hiring activity was seen across a range of sectors including oil & gas, IT & T, pharmaceutical, healthcare as well as professional services.
There was an increased demand for contract finance professionals as a result of new projects in procurement and supply chain firms.
Companies sought talent within finance business partnering as well as candidates with systems implementation, SAP and Hyperion experience to take on tasks required in the new projects.
The most opportunities for professionals were seen at the junior to middle level for core functions such as financial and management accounting, cost accounting, commercial decision support, financial reporting and financial control.
In comparison, the job market for senior finance professionals saw less hiring activity, although there was a slight increase in recruiting at the CFO level.
There were also opportunities in the senior treasury, taxation and internal audit markets, although candidate flow remained a challenge due to the limited talent pool.
The study also saw an increased demand for candidates with regional experience, Asian language skills as well as business partnering or commercial decision support exposure.
Such professionals were keenly sought - after as more companies established regional hubs in Singapore and required individuals who can manage stakeholders in the different Asian regions.
"In order to attract top talent in this tight labour market, hiring managers will need to maintain positive employer branding and ensure their roles are attractive," says the report.
Accounting and finance professionals also seek positions which offer variety and exposure to different internal functions to better integrate themselves with the business, for example, sales & marketing or supply chain.
In addition, ensuring that the role title reflects the level of seniority is essential as job title is a key consideration for many candidates.
"With a similar economic and market climate predicted for the rest of 2014, demand for professionals should remain relatively active within the junior to middle level," says Robert Walters.
The report notes that candidates are likely to receive multiple opportunities as well as counter offers.
"In order to secure the best talent, companies should ensure that their recruitment processes are swift, and maintain constant communication with their target candidates throughout the hiring process," the report said.