A general election and 50 years of independence – 2015 was a big year for Singapore.

However, employment growth remained relatively flat, with just a 4% increase in the number of jobs advertised in 2015 year-on-year – with maximum job advertising growth in medical services (19%), information technology (16%) and HR roles (5%).

Heading in to 2016, Robert Walters’ annual salary survey anticipates no great rise in salaries, in line with stable inflation and employment scenarios.

However, with IT expected to be the most active sector for recruiters, professionals in cyber security could see a 10-20% rise in salaries, specifically for job movers rather than a result of the annual salary review.

Where are the jobs in 2016?

In Singapore’s candidate-driven market, the survey identified the top roles across sectors that are expected to be in demand in 2016. Some of these include:

– Accounting: Specialists skilled in niche areas such as treasury, tax and internal audit in high demand due to limited talent pool.

– Human resources: Change management, problem solving and stakeholder management skills required in senior-level HR positions.

– Legal: Lawyers with proven track records and familiarity with the Singapore market sought after within in-house legal teams.

– Secretarial and support: Top-tier executive secretaries and office managers with abilities to run an office independently to see opportunities.

ALSO READ: What Singaporeans love about today’s workplace

What HR directors can anticipate

Within the HR function, this year will see a number of companies offshoring HR services to lower-cost locations outside of Singapore, especially tasks such as payroll and benefits administration and training support.

The second trend evident in HR is that candidates with the ability to translate HR strategies into measurable outcomes across the business will be highly sought after in 2016 – that includes skills in change management, problem solving and stakeholder management.

Finally, the year will see the emergence of more HR roles with remits in Southeast Asia, as a greater number of regional HR roles continue to sit in Singapore.

How much HR professionals can expect to earn in 2016 (per annum):

  • HR business partner – 12+ years of experience – S$200k-400k
  • HR generalist – 12+ years of experience – S$200k-400k
  • Organisational development – 12+ years of experience – S$250k-320k
  • HRIS – 6-12 years of experience – S$75-120k
  • Mobility – 6-12 years of experience – S$75-120k
  • Payroll – 6-12 years of experience – S$80-110k
  • Compensation and benefits – 3-6 years of experience – S$60k-120k
  • Training and development – 3-6 years of experience – S$55k-90k
  • Recruitment – 3-6 years of experience – S$60k-120k

ALSO READ: HR directors in Singapore can earn up to S$25,000 per month in 2016

Speaking to Human Resources, Bruno Marchand, manager for Robert Walters’ HR and business support (permanent) divisions in Singapore, noted that local talent pool for HR in Singapore is “pretty strong”, so there is typically no need to attract foreigners.

“The only time there is a challenge is when for senior HR roles, we need someone with exposure to different markets. For example, an MNC based in Singapore trying to develop its market in Vietnam would like to have a Vietnamese HR professional based here, given their strong market knowledge.”

Referring to Robert Walters’ Balik Kampung campaign that aims to attract back Singaporeans working overseas, he added: “A Singaporean national who, for example has spent 10 years in the UK and is looking to come back, is the perfect candidate the market is looking for right now – someone with very good knowledge of two different countries.”

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