5 Technology recruitment trends in Singapore this 2021
6 months ago by Grace Tham / Back to all blogs
As tech recruiters, my colleagues and I are often asked for our observations of the technology recruitment market. I can say without a doubt that 2021 will be another year of digital transformation for organisations across the globe. The accelerators and disruptors we’ve seen in the past year amidst the pandemic convinced business leaders worldwide that innovation is and will remain pivotal to the success (and very existence) of their organisations.
This appetite to acquire and assemble world-class teams in pursuit of innovation and transformation is no exception in Singapore. Pandemic aside, it’s open knowledge that our country’s digitisation strategy and attractiveness as regional tech hub has exponentially accelerated Singapore’s demand for technology and business transformation professionals. The tech talent crunch is real.
In an industry that evolves as rapidly as the latest technologies, what are the top trending technology jobs and most sought-after skills of the moment?
With AI and cloud computing at the forefront of innovation, AI architects, AI engineers and cloud solutions experts will be among the most sought-after tech professionals in 2021, especially in Singapore where talent demand is accelerated by the government’s Smart Nation initiative.
These days, it is almost impossible to talk about AI without mentioning cloud computing and vice versa. One of the biggest objectives for tech professionals this year will be to increase business agility using AI models to support cloud computing deployments. There is now a determined focus on AI engineering to ensure the reliability and scalability of AI models. AI is expected to greatly impact IT operations, software development and DevOps.
It is also important to note that cloud computing is taking more specific approaches, depending on the region of operation. There is the distributed cloud strategy wherein cloud services are evenly distributed to various physical locations but governed by a single public cloud organisation. There is also the Asia cloud trend with organisations integrating tech for local knowledge and usage.
Data scientists and analysts, along with data analysis proficiencies, remain among the list of in-demand technology jobs and skills this year. This rings true here, with Singapore’s data analytics industry reportedly injecting nearly S$1 billion to the country’s economy every year. This demand will only continue to grow as more organisations embrace big data.
It is a fact that non-analytics applications are evolving to incorporate data and analytics currently and in the future. People and organisations are clamouring for more valuable and actionable data. Advanced data analytics resonates with other tech topics including AI, machine learning, proactive security, privacy-enhancing computation and IoB (internet of behaviour). The discussion around advanced data analytics is also highly connected to data privacy with the unprecedented explosion of data in large volumes.
As the demand for hyperautomation dominates the tech industry worldwide, so will demand for robotic process automation (RPA) jobs the likes of automation consultants, analysts, engineers and RPA developers.
Hyperautomation brings forth fearless transformation, not only for technology teams but for the entire organisation. There is of course, the fear of rendering human roles obsolete with automation. On the contrary, hyperautomation’s ability to automate basic and complex processes will unlock more valuable roles for IT and tech professionals that oversee processes from a bigger scale. The success of hyperautomation will rely greatly on data strategy and the organisation’s ability to determine action points within its tech operations.
The cost of cybercrime for 2021 is estimated at USD$6 trillion. Not surprisingly, cybersecurity will remain a top priority, not just within organisations, but for governments worldwide. We continue to see strong demand for skilled and capable cybersecurity professionals in 2021, especially specialists in cloud security, application development security and network security, to combat and prepare for these threats and risks.
The rapid growth of data, rise of cloud computing, massive data breaches and government regulations are just some of the reasons for the immense demand for cybersecurity professionals. According to a Cisco survey last year, cybersecurity threats across Asia Pacific rose with more people working from home. Across the Asia Pacific, Singapore had the largest shift to working from home according to the report. Despite more and more employees going back to the office, organisations have no reason to be complacent.
Cybersecurity needs to be more flexible in addressing threats that are different from each other. Gartner described this trend as cybersecurity mesh that would enable cybersecurity measured “to be defined around the identity of a person or thing.”
Reports from LinkedIn and The Straits Times point to trends of remote working continuing in Asia Pacific beyond the pandemic. As more firms embrace technology to facilitate workplace flexibility, we will also start to see newly created jobs and even traditional roles transforming into hybrid profiles requiring tech or digital centric skill sets to better support collaboration, communication and connectivity within remote working set ups.
In a talent pool as small as Singapore’s tech recruitment market, organisations competing to attract and recruit in-demand talent must know the market worth and motivations of the candidates you’re after. Do adopt a pragmatic view of your talent market and set realistic hiring expectations. It will be equally important to differentiate yourselves and fiercely retain your talent with winning strategies and well-defined career paths.
As skills in demand today can be vastly different from tomorrow, it will serve candidates well to follow recruitment trends and know your market worth even if you aren’t in the market for new opportunities. Partnering specialist recruiters who take time to understand your motivations and career goals can save you much time identifying worthwhile career discussions aligned to your long-term goals.
Grace moved into executive search in 2014 after a successful sales career within the telecommunications and ICT industry. She recruits technology professionals into business transformation and change roles within Singapore's financial services and commercial sectors. Connect with Grace.