For Recruiters
Being new doesn’t necessarily make you attractive.

Why Singapore’s newest banks aren’t doing any big hiring from rivals

The launch of Singapore’s new digital banks has not yet led to wide-scale poaching from their brick-and-mortar competitors.

Speaking at a recent eFinancialCareers round table, a senior recruiter from a large Singapore bank admitted there has been “increased competition” for talent, especially for technology candidates, from the new virtual banks that have opened up in recent months. Two of them – from Standard Chartered/FairPrice and Grab/Singtel – launched in the third quarter.

However, he said attrition to the new entrants hasn't been as high as what he and other recruiters had expected. The digibanks haven’t poached “big pockets of people” from traditional banks, he added. The feared mass departures of entire tech teams haven’t taken place.

“I think they've just basically been like a sponge, and they've really just taken one or two people from various different banks and various different functions. They’ve built up teams step by step, and haven’t targeted particular organisations – which is good from our perspective,” said the in-house recruiter, who specialises in technology. Grab is only now advertising one role for its Singapore digibank, according to its careers site.

Meanwhile, consultants working for recruitment agencies in Singapore have told us that jobs at digital banks aren’t especially appealing for technologists. Hong Kong launched several virtual banks about four years ago, but some of them suffered high attrition levels as their newly created jobs didn’t meet candidates’ expectations.

Meanwhile, another round table delegate said hiring at Google and Facebook in Singapore has gone down year-on-year, which has slightly increased the tech talent pool for banks

“But tech candidates in Singapore still have many job options, and there's a continued gap between jobs demand and supply of candidates,” said another round table attendee.

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager
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