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92% of bank bosses worry over losing top talents


A wage hike may be too late now.

According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half, 86 per cent of CFOs in Singapore’s Commerce and Industry and 92 per cent of senior business leaders in Banking and Financial Services are concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year.

Furthermore, 87 per cent of Commerce and Industry CFOs and 94 percent of Financial Services leaders are finding it challenging to find and hire professionals with the right skill sets.

Ms Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore, cautioned that increasing pay in 2013 may not guarantee the retention of top staff in the long term.

“The continued confidence in the market is putting finance and accounting talent with the right skills in a strong position to move to more attractive opportunities. To help improve loyalty, employers need to remember there are other motivators beyond a good salary. For example, offering a clear career path, flexible work arrangements, and the opportunity to work with a mentor and in an environment where the employee can play a significant role in executing business strategy,” she said.

However, Singapore’s CFOs and finance directors are confident of the growth prospects of their businesses in 2013, which is good news for the job prospects of finance and accounting professionals.

According to the survey, 78 per cent of CFOs in Commerce and Industry are positive about Singapore’s economic prospects, and a high 89 per cent are optimistic about their company’s fortunes. Among the Banking and Financial Services group, 83 per cent of senior business leaders are confident about Singapore’s economic future, while 85 per cent feel positive about their company’s prospects.

This confidence is reflected in a strong start to hiring in early 2013 with 31 per cent of CFOs and finance directors in Commerce and Industry planning to add new permanent finance and accounting staff in the first quarter of 2013, while 56 per cent will be maintaining their current headcount. Only nine per cent are freezing all new hires, and four per cent are forecasting a reduction in headcount.

In the Banking and Finance Services sector, 33 per cent of companies plan to add new permanent staff in the first three months of 2013, with a further 50 per cent maintaining current levels. Another 11 per cent are freezing all new hires while six per cent are looking to reduce headcount.

Ms Stella Tang said, “We have been through a period where many jobs that were cut during the financial crisis have been reinstated, and positions were created in response to business growth.”

“As we enter 2013, companies are still optimistic about their prospects, and many are cautiously adding additional headcount. Companies may also be looking to improve productivity to get more from their existing workforce. If the global economic climate improves, then companies will very quickly enter the employment market to make new hires to boost capacity.”

The survey captured the views of 300 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance directors in Singapore – 150 from the Banking and Financial Services sector, and another 150 from the Commerce and Industry sector.

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