Technologists in Singapore aren’t staying in jobs past two years
Technology job stints in Singapore financial institutions are getting shorter. Aarti Budhrani, a director at Michael Page, says that while contract-based software jobs used to last at least three years, this has now fallen to around two years.
Does this mean “job hopping” is becoming more acceptable for tech candidates? Only for various skill sets (like data science and data engineering) and people with valid reasons for leaving, says Budhrani. “If it’s just for monetary benefits, future employers are cautious before hiring such candidates,” she adds.
Budhrani says that while some candidates do switch jobs prematurely for better pay elsewhere, many also end up leaving their jobs earlier than expected because the projects they were hired for have ended or moved out.
Some people have also left because the technologies being used at their workplace were ‘older’ than those used by the rest of the industry. According to Daljit Sall, general manager, technology, at Randstad Singapore, IT workers who choose to search for new employers within a year typically cite workplace culture and job mismatch as reasons for leaving, so as to “cut their losses short”.
Some examples are when actual job responsibilities differ from what was initially advertised during the interview, or when bosses and new hires do not get along. Sall has also witnessed more talent movement among contracting and consulting professionals. He says this is because such IT workers are more likely to move into permanent positions directly with the banks “for better job stability and security”.
There are also differences when it comes to reasons for changing jobs between more seasoned and junior tech professionals. When looking for new jobs, senior professionals tend to be attracted to jobs that offer them opportunities to expand their role and responsibilities regionally and globally.
And when it concerns salary demands, seasoned jobseekers are “much more realistic and reasonable, with most of them expecting a 15% to 20% raise”, says Sall. This is in comparison to junior workers, who are expecting a minimum of 20% salary increment.
On the flipside, job movements could also be due to the higher demand for IT skills from Singapore banks, adds Sall.
Unlike in the past when IT teams played a more supportive role, banks are now increasingly looking for tech specialists in the areas of digital transformation and cybersecurity, to help actively develop new digital products and use technology solutions to engage with their customers.
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