Hays calls for up-skilling among accountancy candidates in Singapore.

Mind the skills gap.

Hays in Singapore has identified a skills gaps within the accountancy and finance sector despite the large supply of professionals available. The company says candidates can benefit from upskilling themselves to gain an edge over their peers.

“As candidates face immense competition in the job market, they have been motivated to upskill through taking their ACCA/ CPA/ CFA certifications or, to a smaller extent pursuing, their master’s in accountancy and finance,” says Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore. “Many of them are also broadening their horizons by attending relevant networking sessions to connect with peers and prospective employers alike.

“While accounting is still a fundamental requirement in most companies, FP&A (financial planning and analysis) professionals have also been increasingly taking on an important role at management meetings as they have been expected to directly impact business performance by guiding the management team into making key decisions based on financial analyses,” he says.

Hays experts also added that employers, on the other hand, have not been resting on their laurels when it comes to securing the top talents available to drive business growth.

“Many organisations have been ramping up their efforts in investing in their employer value propositions (EVPs) to attract the best talent in the market through professional social media networking and online content marketing. Such tactics are likely to grow each year as they prove to be effective in communicating the non-monetary benefits of working for a company,” says Grant.

Other trends surrounding the accountancy and finance industry in Singapore include:

  • Candidates with a hybrid of experiences, such as both financial accounting and analysis, are highly coveted as companies move towards lean yet high-performing finance teams.
  • For mid-senior levels, talents who can act as commercial financial managers, taking finance teams to the next level in terms of business, are being sought out, and to this end firms are widening their nets in the search, looking at individuals of broad backgrounds and skillsets.
  • There has been a growing conception of unique finance roles that require candidates carrying experience with data analytics-related skills such as Python and SQL. The knowledge of these technologies allows for the analysis of massive data sets and to automate processes necessary for analysis.
  • As hiring managers and HR departments face pressures to employ local staff, the appetite of Singapore businesses for foreign hires has been gradually diminishing, compared to previous years.
  • MNCs or regional SMEs who do employ foreign staff are more likely to arrange for internal transfers from their global offices than to hire externally unless the role calls for extremely niche skillsets.

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