Singapore IT sector strives to attract talent

Skills Short

As the ongoing skills shortage within Singapore’s IT sector continues to restrict innovation and growth research from Robert Half has shown exactly what incentives IT employers are using to attract and retain top performing talent. With more than eight in 10 (83 per cent) CIOs saying it is more challenging to attract qualified IT professionals to their organisation compared to five years ago, companies need to adjust their staff attraction initiatives in skills-short market.

According to the survey of 75 CIOs in Singapore, IT employers are willing to pay a premium to staff their teams with the best talent. Almost half (47 per cent) of CIOs are offering higher remuneration (base pay and/or bonus) to attract top IT talent. This is closely followed by 43 per cent who are offering additional training and development opportunities, and 37 per cent who are promoting an enhanced work culture, such as health and wellbeing programs.

Having a competitive edge in the market by having the best talent does not only rely on attracting the right employees, but also to keep them on board. To avoid losing their top performers, Singapore’s IT employers are being proactive in their approach to staff retention. The top three initiatives CIOs have focused on over the last three years to retain IT staff are employee benefits (41 per cent), professional development (37 per cent) and flexible working arrangements (37 per cent) – which suggests that non-financial benefits are key to retain top performers.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said: “Money talks in a market where jobs are aplenty and skilled candidates in short supply. The IT industry is booming as it accelerates to keep pace with new and evolving technologies, with companies in Singapore struggling to hire new IT talent. Because of this, IT employers often need to offer above-average salaries to attract the best professionals.”

“Companies, however, also need to think beyond salary,” Matthieu adds. “While salary is a key component of an overall remuneration policy, companies realise they also need to diversify their incentives offering to not only attract the best talent but also to retain them. Non-financial incentives, such as flexible working arrangements and professional development opportunities, have become increasingly popular and therefore provide a strong incentive for employees to remain with a company long-term and position an organisation as an employer of choice.”

According to Robert Half, companies with the lowest turnover rates are the ones who have ongoing conversations with their staff about what motivates them – and act on it, to the extent possible. Those who continuously benchmark salaries, provide challenging work and are able to tailor the remuneration package to the individual employee’s needs will be most successful at attracting and keeping top performers long term.

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