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Singapore – Demand rising for finance and accounting staff

16 July 2013

Companies in Singapore are actively recruiting accounting, finance and financial services professionals as part of their growth plans.  New research released today by finance and accounting recruitment firm Robert Half has found that nearly four in 10 firms plan to increase the number of accounting and finance professionals they employ during the third quarter of 2013 – with new market penetration and new projects driving the need for the additional headcount.

In the Banking and Finance Services sector, 38% of companies plan to add new permanent financial services staff this quarter with a further 51% maintaining current levels; another 9% are freezing all new hires. While just 3% are looking to reduce headcount.  

In the Commerce and Industry sector, 37% of CFOs and finance directors plan to add new permanent finance and accounting staff this quarter while 56% will be maintaining their current headcount.  Only 7% are freezing all new hires while there are no companies planning to reduce their headcount.

"Confidence is driving business growth, which is leading to more hires for finance, accounting and financial services professionals. And with an increase in employee numbers, more expansion plans can be pursued. Accessing new markets and translating impactful innovations into commercialisation on a global scale have always been how Singapore companies drive their growth,” said Ms Stella Tang, director of Robert Half in Singapore.

Companies in both sectors need additional employees to drive their growth plans.  According to the survey, the main reasons for needing new staff are to support new market penetration, the delivery of new projects and the increase in the products or services the company offers.

According to the survey, 80% of Banking and Financial Services leaders are confident about Singapore’s economic future, while 82% feel positive about their company’s prospects. Among CFOs and finance directors in commerce and industry, 81% are positive about Singapore’s economic prospects, and a very high 92% are optimistic about their company’s fortunes.

“Whether it is increased presence in existing markets or entry into new markets, companies will need top talent with deep accounting and finance expertise to support their growth. At the same time, employers who are planning to maintain headcount over the next three months should carefully consider the long-term effects of doing more with the same resources, as productivity could fall as a result.  They need to take proactive steps, including providing flexible work arrangements, rewards and recognition, and open communication to motivate and retain their top performers,” Ms Tang added.

The Robert Half Financial Employment Report July 2013 captures the views of 150 CFOs and finance directors in Singapore from the Commerce and Industry sector, and 150 senior business leaders from the Banking and Financial Services sector.


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