Where are all the Engineers?

In the next ten years, Singapore is to become the elite city for hiring tech talent according to recent Glassdoor reports. Here's what we think.


With many international and home-grown companies using Singapore as a launchpad into APAC, the demand for tech-talent in Singapore is unlikely to slow down. According to Glassdoor, the largest demand in the tech industry is for Software Engineers. And in our experience, particularly, those combining technical, problem solving and soft skills. Chief Economist at Glassdoor, Dr. Chamberlain states that “The future of work in Singapore is likely to feature many more opportunities for ‘knowledge workers’- those using data, software and intellectual skills.”

Here we will provide our Q1 tech hiring trend observations, and in a follow-up post, give some tips on how companies can compete for A-Players in the competitive Singapore talent market.

Accela’s Observations
Specializing in growth-stage technology and product companies, Q1 for the Accela team, saw a high demand for Software Engineers and Data Scientist professionals.

• Frontend professionals skilled in modern frameworks such as Angular and Vue.js.
• Back-end Engineers with expertise in Java, Python, Ruby, Golang and working knowledge of NoSQL databases and,
• Although a highly-debated job title, Fullstack Engineers who know enough about code across the entire stack

And for Data professionals we saw demand for:

• Those who are skilled in Python and R
• Experienced in Machine Learning and AI
• Experienced in developing the algorithms and models to power product

While salary expectations have started to creep up across all skills, back-end, full-stack and data scientist positions are where we have seen the most noticeable increases. Notable observations:

• Junior candidates who come with Masters qualifications from the top local universities are demanding SGD4,000 – 5,000
• Mid-level data scientist candidates with 4+ years relevant experience are demanding SGD5,500- 7,000 and,
• Senior data scientist and back-end engineering candidates with 7+ years of relevant experience demanding upward of SGD8,000 per month

Culture Fit to Complement the Tech-Stack
Due to the shortage of tech talent, it is easy to disregard the often intangible culture fit and focus purely on technical skills. However in today’s working environment, culture fit is everything.

While technical skills are undeniably important, more than ever, Culture fit is the deciding factor in the hiring process for candidates and companies alike. Hiring for technical skills and ignoring culture fit has the potential to bring the entire team down affecting other team members that could cost your company time and money. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organization between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary.

In our next posts, we will discuss how companies can compete for A-Player tech-talent, and how both individuals and companies can better assess culture fit, ensuring the opportunity is right for everyone.

Contact the Accela Team for more info on Singapore Tech Talent at [email protected]

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