Singapore’s outsourced data centers made an estimated US$934 million this year. Source: Shutterstock

IT wages in Singapore to rise in 2018

IT PROFESSIONALS with a hankering to travel should perhaps be looking to Singapore for 2018 employment opportunities.

According to Singaporean recruiter Robert Half, 92 percent of CIOs who took part in a survey planned to give average pay rises to IT staff of 6.8 percent in 2018 to at least 15 percent of their staff.

However, 67 percent of the surveyed said that they were financially strapped for cash and needed to reduce costs across the board, and in further bad news, 17 percent said their staff was being paid already at market-accepted rates and that indeed, their employees were underperforming!

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half, Singapore said:

“While wage growth has remained steady over the past several years, Singapore’s IT leaders need to understand the value remuneration has in retaining their top performing talent.

“[…] workers operate within a limited talent pool, are acutely aware of their market value and with highly sought-after skills are more inclined to leave an organisation if they are offered a more attractive remuneration package elsewhere.

“While a higher salary is a prime motivator for top performers, it is important that both employers and employees consider alternative incentives other than more pay.”

Imbert-Bouchard’s statement noted that benefits such as working from home, flexible hours, additional leave and more training can be just as much of an incentive for staff than an increase in salary.

IT management professionals will be well aware that many in the business are not as concerned with salary levels as those other benefits until they have reached a particular demographic and stage in their lives: the arrival of full-time partners and children tends to make salary levels more important to IT professionals.

Until this point, however, many in the industry, especially those at the “code face”, are more concerned with peer review, working conditions, and especially, career development opportunities.

It is a necessity for today’s computer programmers, for instance, to keep up-to-date with trends, and be able to learn new languages and methods as required.

Other professionals in IT will also know the value of accreditations, be that in management such as ITIL, or in network administration technologies such as Cisco or Juniper.

Too often, the giving of these opportunities by employers is seen as self-defeating: after all why train staff when the newly-qualified will simply leave for greener pastures with brand-new certificates in hand?

Of course, such surveys as Robert Half’s should always be taken with a pinch of salt. A recruitment agency hoping to place talent into technology jobs is hardly likely to report on declining salary levels and appalling conditions.