IT Hiring trends in Singapore 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have been impelled to expedite their digital transformation plans in order to continue working and serving customers and clients. Singapore continues to face a growing demand for qualified IT professionals to support organisations’ digitalisation plans. From roles such as Cybersecurity Professionals who safeguard companies against cyber threats, and Data Scientists who are able to transform mass data into actionable insights, to Software Developers who design and develop various software. These are just some of the rising IT jobs that are highly sought after in recent years.

It is important for companies who are navigating through business uncertainties and economic changes to keep up with the latest hiring trends in the technology labour market. Equipped with the necessary knowledge, companies can compete in the race for talent and bring the best on board. In today’s candidate-driven market, many IT professionals are open to exploring new work opportunities, and this signifies an ideal time for companies to reach out to top-qualified IT talents that will support their critical operations and strategic initiatives.

Singapore’s Technology Labour Market

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Marked by rapid digital transformation, Singapore’s technology labour market continues to evolve over the years and is set to witness a larger strain in terms of skilled talents. One of the most prominent trends in the market is the impact of digitalisation on conventional jobs across various departments and industries. Increasingly, jobs are being taken over by automation and some roles require individuals to be tech-savvy in order to navigate and operate the systems. This leads to the shortage of qualified talents to do the job well, prompting companies to either create new job titles or send existing employees for upgrading courses. Coupled with the fact that businesses are investing more into their digitalisation plans and expanding their tech department, this puts an even larger strain on the technology labour market.

The need for a team of strong IT professionals has never been more critical as companies look to build and improve their digital capabilities. This has led to a significant rise in immediate demand for IT talents who are capable of executing the companies’ digitalisation strategies. The tech talent shortage is further exacerbated by the tightening of foreign labour policies.

The concerns about the sheer lack of available tech candidates are greater than ever.

Hiring trends in the IT recruitment scene

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1. Increase in contracting jobs

During this pandemic, companies look to provide contracting roles for various reasons.

Firstly, contracting jobs are used as a stop-gap measure to overcome the talent shortage. Through our experience, larger organisations are offering more contracting roles to reach out to a wider talent pool. Besides permanent hires, people who participate in the gig economy such as freelancers and contract workers are also welcome to apply. Hiring such individuals is especially beneficial for companies as many qualified tech talents engage in contractual jobs to maximise their work experiences in different projects. Common contractual tech roles include Project Manager, Network Engineer and UX/UI Designer. By doing so, firms increase their chance of hiring qualified and suitable candidates in time to meet their business needs.

Secondly, due to business uncertainties, many companies experienced a reduction in headcount budget. However, the workload remains the same which translates to the lack of manpower. With contracting roles, departments have the flexibility to hire additional manpower on-demand while still abiding by the headcount limit. Contracting roles serves as a cost-effective solution to combat manpower shortage.  

Related article: Why businesses should employ Contract Employees

2. Flexible working options

This pandemic has inevitably led to the transformation and evolution of work arrangements. With the mandatory work-from-home schedule, employees are getting accustomed to the new routine. The importance of offering flexible working options can no longer be ignored by employers. According to a study done by Evolution, IT professionals in Singapore value flexible work hours. This is evident in the results where 40% of the respondents voted “Flexible hours” as an important consideration when they are accepting a job offer. On the other hand, 16% of the respondents would consider changing jobs due to the “Lack of flexible hours”.

Offering flexible working options are increasingly expected of employers. In order to attract and retain IT talents, companies should look to offer such arrangements in terms of remote working, flexible work hours or compressed workweek. This would go a long way in convincing potential IT talents to take up the job.

3. Job security takes precedence over other factors

Covid-19 brought along unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, now more than ever, candidates prefer job security over a good job location, company culture and management style. According to the workforce survey conducted by JobStreet, 93%, 73% and 48% of the respondents ranked job security over job location, company culture, and management style respectively. This implies that hiring managers can convince IT hires to join the company by assuring that the company will maintain stability and invest in long-term prospects.

In the tech industry, IT professionals are required to go for constant upgrading courses in order to ensure their skills set remain relevant and up to date. Conveying the possibility of sending new IT hires to training courses is an effective way to convince candidates that the company is genuine and committed to grooming their permanent hires.

4. Hottest job in Technology landscape

Marked by the relentless wave of digital transformation, it is not surprising that the hottest job in IT includes Cybersecurity Professional, Data Scientist and Software Developer. As firms invest heavily in building and expanding their digital capabilities, these IT talents play a crucial role in devising strategic plans and putting them into execution.

Cybersecurity Professionals – These cybersecurity talents are the defence line of companies and protect organisations from cyberattacks that may lead to loss of sensitive data, paralyzed systems and monetary losses.

Data Scientist – With systems and processes moving online, tremendous volumes of data can be collected and turned into actionable insights when placed in the hands of data scientists.

Software Developer – Software development is a “key staple” of any organisation’s future-proofing as businesses adapt their software to the changing needs of their customers and clients. These engineers take charge of designing, developing, troubleshooting and maintaining software and computer programs of organisations.

Related Article: Most in-demand IT Tech jobs in Singapore 2021

5. Moving towards online recruitment

The process of recruitment as well as on-boarding has changed drastically due to Covid-19. In fact, technology in recruitment is nothing new and has played an even more significant role during this pandemic. As a result, the digitalisation of the hiring process has been sped up and more companies look to adopt virtual recruitment.

Competing in a tight labour market would imply that every touchpoint with the IT talents, starting from the interview till the confirmation stage, is crucial and could be the deciding factor for many IT professionals when considering a job. With the recruitment scene moving online, this calls for companies to invest in technology and tools such as video interviewing platforms and virtual communication tools. This helps to ensure a seamless interview and on-boarding experience for the candidates, increasing the likelihood of convincing potential hires to join the team and retaining them.  

Conclusion

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Recruiting the right IT talents has never been easy. In order to attract and secure tech professionals, companies should stay up to date on the current hiring trends in the market. Equip yourself with timely and relevant knowledge to make more informed business decisions and strengthen your recruitment plans.

Work with EPS Consultants

Amidst this crisis, we are proud to remain as the preferred recruitment agency of employers in Singapore. Specialising in the IT recruitment scene, we are able to connect qualified IT professionals to your job openings.

As a steadfast partner to employers and candidates, EPS Consultants is offering a special Covid-Support package to offer local businesses additional support to their hiring requirements. Simply contact us to find out more!

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