Skills shortage is top factor to impact SG financial sector

Business leaders expect the “war for talent” to continue in 2017

Skills shortage is top factor to impact SG financial sector
About two out of five (40%) chief financial officers in Singapore cite a “skills shortage” as the top issue to impact the city’s financial services landscape this year, according to an independent survey commissioned by recruitment services firm Robert Half said.

“Singapore’s financial services sector has been impacted by the skills shortage for some time, and business leaders clearly expect the ‘war for talent’ to continue in 2017,” said Robert Half Singapore managing director Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard. The independent poll surveyed 100 CFOs and financial directors in the city-state.

Big data analytics (34%) and technology-driven activities (34%) rounded out the top three issues that CFOS said would affect the financial services sector. At the bottom three were nearshoring (11%), offshoring (11%), and business restructuring (3%).

“While the impact of new technology is viewed as an additional challenge for the sector this year, it is closely tied to the skills shortage. Without suitably skilled professionals, companies cannot leverage the full value of emerging technologies such as Big Data.”

A more general survey by recruitment consultancy firm Hays found that about 96% of employers in Singapore are still struggling to find the skilled individuals they need.

The firm’s 2017 Asia Salary Guide also found that 71% of workers in Singapore plan to switch jobs this year for improved salary or benefit packages.

“The ability to attract and retain the best talent always provides a company with a competitive advantage, but in 2017 with skill shortages persisting and significant changes and challenges on the horizon, it is more important than ever,” said Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.

Imbert-Bouchar suggested that companies can take several steps to mitigate the impact of a “skills shortage,” including investing in employee training.

“This not only upskills current finance teams, it can also underpin high retention levels. Hiring contract and interim managers during peak periods or for special projects is a highly cost effective strategy that injects fresh ideas into a company, and prevents burdening employees with unrealistic workloads, which can negatively impact staff morale.”

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