Singapore’s fintech turnover rate is the second worst in the world

singapore's fintech turnover
Image by oksanaphoto | Bigstockphoto

Singapore may be a fintech haven, but it is also facing a talent retention problem, with the city’s fintech professionals recording the second-highest turnover rate among nine key fintech hubs worldwide, Robert Walters’ latest Global FinTech Talent Report found.

The city-state’s fintech professionals stay at one job for only 1.3 years on average – second only to China, where the average tenure is only 0.8 years or about 9-10 months. Other major cities like New York and San Francisco have an average tenure of two years and 1.8 years, respectively.

Recently, the government announced a fintech hiring spree, with over 9,400 new jobs expected to be created this year – around a third of which are in tech-related roles. In fact, in 2021, there was a 163% increase in the total number of fintech jobs on offer in Singapore, the report said.

The demand for talent in the fintech industry is only going to increase, but analysts say that Singaporean companies will need to do more than just offer competitive salaries to attract and retain the best talent.

The report notes that among other benefits, flexible working arrangements and open communication between staff and management will be key to keeping fintech professionals happy in their jobs.

“In a candidate short market where there are more jobs available than professionals, compensation in terms of salaries and stock options continue to play a big part in FinTech professionals’ career decisions. However, they are also balancing this need with a desire for good work-life balance and open and effective management,” said Faiz Modak, associate director, technology, Robert Walters Singapore.

According to Modak, companies that are not able to meet professionals’ expected compensation packages can instead focus on providing potential employees with flexible working arrangements and opportunities for training and upskilling.

Hiring managers, in particular, need to do more to engage with existing talent and address their concerns, the report.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Manpower released labor market statistics showing that the overall ratio of job vacancies to unemployed people in Singapore rose to 209 for every 100 people in the third quarter of 2020 – up from 163 the quarter before.

MOM notes that there is unevenness in the recovery across sectors, which means “some displaced workers, especially older and less-educated workers, face greater challenges finding work.”

In a statement related to this report, NTUC LearningHub’s director of infocomm technology Anthony Chew said: “To plug the skills chasm, companies could benefit from upskilling both existing and new employees to boost their workforce competencies and meet business objectives.”

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