Singapore tech pay still skyrocketing as OCBC starts hiring spree

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Singapore tech pay still skyrocketing as OCBC starts hiring spree

Any fears that the rampant pay inflation Singaporean tech professionals enjoyed in 2021 would slow down this year have been shattered by recent big hiring announcements, including from OCBC.

Singapore’s second biggest lender has announced that it’s hiring 1,500 technology staff over the next three years, mostly based in the Republic, including application developers, cyber security experts, blockchain specialists, and data scientists.

Other companies with headcount expansion plans include fintech firm Wise, which revealed in February that it wants to hire for 150 roles in its Singapore office this year. Tech company Dyson said earlier this week that it is adding 250 people to its R&D team in Singapore, including software and machine learning roles.

This is in addition to ongoing hiring sprees at tech giants like Amazon, which has more than 500 Singapore-based vacancies on its careers site, and ByteDance (362 jobs).

In the finance sector, tech pay for new joiners has been soaring in Singapore as banks attempt to attract talent amid strong competition from these expansionist tech firms, which are using the city state as a beachhead into Southeast Asia.

Salaries are also soaring for local tech professionals because the supply of foreign technologists slowed in 2020/2021, triggered by travel and immigration restrictions during the pandemic. The labour market remains tight, despite early signs that more overseas-based technologists are securing jobs this year, say recruiters.

“There is an extreme shortage of candidates and we are seeing higher salary increases than what we would have seen pre-pandemic,” Michael Nette, managing director of recruitment firm Ambition in Singapore, told us earlier this month.

An in-house recruiter at a local bank says his firm is now giving pay rises of 30% or even 40% to new joiners in technology. “But we still lose about a fifth of the tech people we want to hire because another company is willing to pay them even more,” he adds.

Technology pay in the finance sector is increasing in lockstep with salaries at tech firms. In 2022, 85% of Singapore companies in the tech and transformation industry are giving pay rises (to existing staff), the highest among seven sectors surveyed by Robert Walters.

Photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash

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