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Skills shortage impairs Singapore's tech growth, reveals salary guide
Wed, 7th Feb 2024

A newly released 2024 Salary Guide by global talent services company, Morgan McKinley, has exposed the impact of the skill shortage on Technology Growth in Singapore. The research revealed that 76% of technology hiring managers across Singapore found recruitment 'very' or 'quite' competitive in 2023 due to lack of skilled candidates which is the primary obstacle for 25% of hirers.

The research also identified other challenges, which included difficulties in competing on pay and benefits (22%) and a lack of approval for new headcount (19%). The climate seems favourable for 2024, with half of the technology hiring managers intending to increase headcount in the first half of the year, with 46% of technology workers actively seeking new roles during that time, and another 31% considering a move.

For technology workers planning to move roles, priority is given to a higher salary (40%), followed by the promise of career growth and development opportunities (14%), and the ability to work remotely (13%). Employee preferences in benefits were also brought to the fore. In the technology industry, 'work from home' and flexible working hours ranked first and third respectively in the top five valued benefits as chosen by professionals. Furthermore, 71% of technology professionals listed 'work from home' as one of their top five benefits.

Moreover, it's not ‘all work and no play’ with only 42% of technology professionals expressing a preference to be in the office 1-2 days a week, while 8% reported a desire to continue a 5-day week on-site. An astonishing 53% even reported a willingness to skip a pay increase for attaining the flexibility they desired.

Expectations around compensation are also evolving. The research found that 69% of employers plan to increase their salary offers for certain hard-to-fill roles in technology. In addition, 20% aim to increase salary offers for all their tech teams.

Commenting on the report, Gurj Sandhu, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Singapore, said, "Global layoffs by tech giants, rising inflation and general economic uncertainty all heaped pressure on the heavily invested-in Tech sector throughout 2023." Despite this, Sandhu painted a positive outlook for 2024, stating, "Many businesses have projects pipelined and a strong book of work and will need the right talent to successfully see them through 2024 and beyond."

Sandhu also emphasised the significance of understanding people's career goals and aspirations to keep them engaged against a backdrop of high living costs and rising inflation impacting property rentals. He added that "It is likely that businesses are going to be more focused on salary corrections for their employees to hedge against inflation in an attempt to keep their existing headcount stable. In-demand roles will always be able to attain higher salaries."

The report further enumerated key jobs and skills expected to be in demand for 2024 in Singapore across technology sectors including infrastructure, development and testing, architecture, analytics, and cyber security and technology governance. Insightful findings on salary data were provided by the research from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals anticipating companies’ hiring intentions for 2024, key motivators for changing jobs and movements in salary expectations.