Standard Chartered’s hiring freeze, which it imposed in late March, is beginning to thaw in Singapore as it ramps up its tech vacancies.
When we looked at the firm’s careers website on 17 April, it had just 63 Singapore-based vacancies on offer. This number has now increased 144% to 154. Much of the recent surge is down to Stan Chart’s technology hiring – about a third of the current jobs are in tech.
The bank’s “significantly higher investment” into its “core digital capabilities” has borne fruit during the pandemic, with “many more corporate, institutional and personal clients now engaging with us through digital channels”, CEO Bill Winters said in July as the bank announced its earnings.
In June, Stan Chart said that product sales on digital platforms in Q1 comprised nearly half of overall sales – an almost two-fold increase from the same period last year – as clients eschewed face-to-face transactions. Although online growth does not generate anything like an equivalent expansion in tech jobs, it is still contributing to comparatively healthy levels of tech hiring in Singapore, the bank’s global hub for tech.
Interestingly, there are several senior roles within Stan Chart’s current crop of tech vacancies, suggesting that the firm is prepared to take on expensive talent during the pandemic, at least in technology. These jobs include a head of technology and innovation, an ED level-role which will help the bank target more than $250m of productivity and efficiency savings, according to Stan Chart’s careers site.
Stan Chart is also looking for a global head of enterprise architecture, which demands at least 20 years’ experience and the ability to articulate the bank’s technology strategy on behalf of the group CIO. Other senior openings include a CIO for digital enablement and operations, and a digital-venture chief information security officer.
The bank increased its Singapore headcount by 2,000 between 2018 and 2020, of which more than 1,200 roles were in “future growth areas” such as cyber security, data solutions, analytics, cloud, AI architecture, API, and DevOps. Much of Stan Chart’s current rank-and-file tech hiring is also in these areas.
Stan Chart still faces strong competition in the job market from banks and large tech firms in Singapore. DBS is adding 360 people to its Singapore tech headcount by the end of the year, while OCBC’s new 3,000-strong recruitment drive is partly focused on tech.
Image: Shawnn Tann, Unsplash
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