Singapore has emerged as a world-class tech hub in Asia and also has become a favoured destination for firms looking to enter into the region’s growing markets. According to Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), 80 out of the world’s top 100 tech firms have operations in the city, and they are increasing investments. The 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index ranks the country number 6 in the world, just ahead of Japan and the U.S., while China is at number 21.
Based on Jones Lang LaSalle’s study, Singapore has become the top foreign investment destination for Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. In addition, Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have well-established regional operations in Singapore.
Not only that, but Singapore is also succeeding in creating a conducive environment to attract innovative international start-ups to its shores. For instance, artificial intelligence start-up Taiger relocated its holding company, intellectual property, and key operations from Spain to Singapore in order to take advantage of the city-state’s vibrant innovation ecosystem.
Local companies such as mobile security specialist V-Key and visual search solutions provider ViSenze are also making their mark on the global stage with their solutions. Meanwhile, companies in traditional industries, such as cement manufacturer Pan-United and fish ball maker Thong Siek are adopting new technologies to stay relevant in the midst of the digital revolution.
With this background, it is no surprise if Singapore has many job vacancies in the technology industry. However, Singapore needs to complement its workforce with these skilled both local and foreign professionals to meet the demand for technology professionals from companies here. Let’s keep reading to find out how the country can attract tech talent!
The Tech Talent Situation in Singapore
Over the past five years, Singapore’s tech ecosystem has accelerated rapidly. As we knew, tech startups have flourished everywhere, venture capital also has poured in, both global and regional tech firms, such as Google, Stripe, Grab, and GoJek have set up significant engineering operations.
Not only within the tech sector, the organization such DBS bank and telco SingTel, as well as the Singapore government, have come up with ambitious digital transformation plans.
However, the ambition and speed of tech development in Singapore are being held back by a talent shortage. The problem of talent shortage is a global phenomenon. According to EDB, the hiring managers at Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook have trouble and complain about talent scarcity. That is why countries, such Canada, Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand and many others have come up with strategies to enhance their attractiveness to tech talent.
Based on data from the Singapore government, the number of Infocomm jobs has increased over the past few years. This demand is set to fire up further, with more than 42.000 infocomms technology (ICT) professionals needed for the sector in the next three years.
The highest demand jobs areas are data analytics, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. The companies are looking to hire experienced professionals in these areas but they are affected by the shortage of talents.
The Singapore government estimates that there will be only 400 graduates a year with the right qualifications, and the Singapore Fintech Association estimates that 1.100 fintech jobs will be added annually, and it appears that the demand far exceeds the supply.
There is actually an easy way to resolve the talent shortage, yet stricter employment pass (EP) criteria have been put in place by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in an attempt to give Singaporeans an opportunity to get more and better jobs. However, hiring foreign workers is still possible, but the EP has a requirement for them to take on jobs that pay a minimum monthly salary of $S3.600 if they want to work in the country.
Additionally, there are some ways to overcome the talent shortage here in Singapore. Let’s find out below!
How To Outsource Tech Talent in Singapore?
Tech firms in Singapore are growing rapidly, and they need to expand their teams too. Meanwhile, the non-tech companies are similarly hiring more IT talent to strengthen their digital transformation.
Moreover, recruiting the right talent is the top concern for technology firms in the country, and need to adopt other methods to secure the talent that they need. These are 5 ways to outsource tech talent in Singapore:
1. Showcasing the tech and possibilities
Technology is constantly evolving and the best tech talents know that, and they continually upgrade their skills and improve themselves. If they do not do that, they will quickly be left behind. However, the remuneration seems to be an important consideration for them to pick the jobs, but it is often not the final deciding factor, they tend to choose the job that can upgrade their skill set.
For example, Razer’s career page not only emphasizes the company being at the forefront of the gaming industry, but also highlights the challenge of its job. It is likely to appeal to the very best tech talent who is always looking for new relevant exposure to help them stay ahead.
2. Tapping on interim hires
There is an increasing number of tech job seekers who prefer to take on contract roles as they provide opportunities to learn about and use the latest tech while offering comparable great packages.
The interim hire can actually enable to implement projects that may be outside of the current team capabilities, without having to worry about increasing their headcount. The interim hire is also able to provide training and expertise for the existing team and allow them to develop their capabilities for the future.
3. Starting Early
More tech firms are starting their recruitment efforts from as early as internships. The internships may require more from a company in terms of guidance and nurturing, but it helps build loyalty and contributes to the talent pool available in Singapore.
For example, SEA (previously Garena) offers an attractive internship program with its research and development (R&D) department, with a potential full-time offer for interns who perform well.
4. Expanding their search beyond Singapore
Apart from the requirement from EP, searching talents outside Singapore can allow companies to inject experience and perspective from outside the country. In addition, companies should also consider extending their search to Singaporeans working outside of the country.
There is a large group of Singaporean tech talents working overseas in countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, the US, and more. Their international experience, along with their understanding of the local culture, makes them an invaluable asset to tech companies.
5. Staying on top of the market to keep ahead of competitors
It is important to keep in mind that the best people are continually looking to learn and stay on top. It is to ensure that you get the talent you need, you have to make sure to showcase to potential candidates the opportunities to explore the latest technologies and up-skill.
In conclusion, hiring the best tech talents in Singapore may be difficult, but as long as you have the preparation and you know what you need, it can be conquered easily. Just keep it in your mind, you will need these 5 points to strengthen your searching of the best tech talents in the country!