Singapore’s financial sector to continue its war for talents this year

Nayela Deeba

Forty percent of the 100 Singaporean Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) Robert Half surveyed indicated that skills shortage will be the top factor impacting the financial services sector in 2017.

"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 Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director, Robert Half Singapore.

"As Singaporean financial services companies endeavour to become more innovative by adopting new technologies, the challenges from the skills gap will inevitably be felt. Businesses need professionals with adequate tech-based skillsets to be able to fully address key factors like Big Data analytics and innovative business practices," he added.

To mitigate the impact of skills shortage, Imbert-Bouchard advised "companies to take several additional steps including investing in employee training." "This not only upskills current finance teams, but also underpins high retention levels."

"[Besides that,] 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," he explained.

Apart from skills shortage, CFOs pointed out that big data analytics and technology driven activities will shape the financial services sector this year.

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Other factors include compliance pressures (28 percent), innovations (26 percent), managing customer expectations (25 percent) and generational shifts (25 percent).