Singapore Market Update October 2017

Article Seldon-Rosser-Singapore

During October 2017, we spent a week in Singapore and here is a snapshot of what we heard.

  • The simple fact is that people are really enjoying working in Singapore.  They get to work across one of the most varied mix of jurisdictions in South East Asia (SEA), enjoy an attractive amount of travel in their roles and are able to evolve their job descriptions to meet the market.

“I spent some time in New York City recently and couldn’t wait to get back to Singapore, it’s far more dynamic.” BD Manager

“This last couple of years in Singapore has been the best experience in my career.” Senior BD Manager

  • Careers here suit entrepreneurial people who see opportunity and are able to carve out their careers in a business.
  • There is still a lot to learn about doing business in the different SEA markets, Business Development & Marketing professionals are constantly learning.
  • We’re hearing great things about living in Singapore; people love that it’s safe and clean but it’s also becoming increasingly dynamic with many new trendy bars and restaurants appearing.  There’s also a lot of jetting over to Bali, Thailand and other destinations for the weekend – with cheap, last minute flights readily available.
  • Compared to other major markets rents are also lower (having fallen steadily for many years).

“I recently moved from Hong Kong to Singapore and my condo is three times the size of where I lived in Hong Kong!” Marketing Manager

  • As the Singapore market has grown, more firms briefing us wish to look at local talent first, before looking internationally (particularly under the Manager level).  We are still relocating people into Singapore, it’s just that not every role is an option. This is good for the career development of those on the ground. In part it’s due to regulations requiring a specific ratio of local to international staff, but it’s also often about hiring someone with SEA market knowledge.
  • This is still a good market for generalist candidates – whilst some client/communications/bids roles exist, many are broad generalist positions.
  • To be successful when moving to this market, learning the cultural nuances and how to navigate relationships with different types of people is critical.
  • We heard from a few firms about the innovation happening in Singapore – not only in terms of the Government making attractive conditions to bring start ups and tech companies to the country, but also within professional services firms themselves. Singapore can be a great place for global firms to pilot new initiatives – they have the perfect balance of scale and agility.

Candidate Success

We asked Felicity Warren, Client Development Manager – Asia Pacific, Peerpoint
to reflect on her move from London to Singapore.

What’s the best thing about your new role? 
“I actually love everything about my new role and I believe it plays to my personal strengths very well.  I am no longer just sitting behind a desk and am now regularly out in the market building contacts and relationships.  The role is really energising and whilst the organisation is pretty much a start up business it has the support of a large law firm with an active team – it really is the best of both worlds.”

What do you enjoy about working in Singapore?
“I have to say the quality of life it provides – there is a massive difference between Singapore and London.  In particular I no longer have a long commute and for me the work life balance is better.  On top of this there is the great tax rate, many travel opportunities and a very friendly expat community.  Settling in has been very easy and I have a happy personal life outside of work too!”

How did you find the recruitment process?
“The recruitment process was a very transparent and clear process and all the key players, including the team at Seldon Rosser, provided me with a thorough understanding of the role.  Everyone was extremely honest and open and the role was exactly as I expected it to be – which can be quite a rare experience.”

Find out more

Rentals and Singapore living:

Taxation in Singapore:
Personal Income tax guide
Income Tax Rates

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