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Demand for talent in digital arena expected to rise: HR experts

The growth in the technology sector has opened up more career opportunities, says Robert Walters. ZW HR Consulting notes tech sector jobs are expected to be among the most sought-after in Singapore this year. 

SINGAPORE: With greater usage of mobile devices and social media, human resources experts expect demand for talent in the digital arena to increase this year.

The growth in the technology sector has opened up more career opportunities, with rising demand in areas like digital marketing and online content development, according to consultancy Robert Walters.

And ZW HR Consulting agrees. It said tech sector jobs are expected to be among the most sought-after in Singapore this year. These are in areas of mobile application development, cloud computing, digital marketing and software development.

Mr Mervin Chui, country manager (Singapore) at ZW HR Consulting, said: “The tech market is coming up for sure. We are also seeing what we call the support structure, support industries, your supply chain, legal and compliance, for example aerospace. Within aerospace itself, an area we have seen high demand is quality management."

As companies seek to retain talent and optimise business structure, there is also demand for HR professionals. Based on its database of 40,000 candidates in Singapore, ZW HR said the top five HR roles are around compensation and benefits, overseeing information systems for the department as well as talent acquisition and development.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Human Resources Institute said it is optimistic about job prospects in the tourism industry, as the Government starts to roll out new measures to woo more visitors. These include a S$20 million global marketing campaign, which was announced earlier this month.

Mr Erman Tan, president of the Singapore Human Resources Institute, said: "We need people who will be able to link up with the world, with good vision, strategic planning as well as be able to show certain form of leadership to help to shift some of the tourism industry deliverables. That will include how we manage our resorts and hotels.”

For Robert Walters, other areas requiring talent include corporate governance, insurance and wealth management.

Despite the tight labour market in Singapore, HR experts said salaries are likely to remain stable this year as employers remain cautious.

Said Mr Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia: "I do not think we are going to see any big spikes, the quarter one numbers we see tend to be more conservative - beginning of the year, due to people staying in their jobs, post-bonuses.

“We have not seen any great increment in job numbers in the markets we operate in. We still remain in a very candidate-driven market. We are still looking at not just domestic talent, we are looking at returning overseas Singaporeans as well. I do not anticipate there being any great wage increase above and beyond CPI (Consumer Price Index)."

The CPI is expected to come in at minus 0.5 to 0.5 per cent in 2015, according to the forecast from the central bank. The MAS Core Inflation - which strips out accommodation and private transportation costs - is projected to be 0.5 to 1.5 per cent this year.