Finding the right sales and marketing talent crucial for Singaporean businesses now and for the rest of the year

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Singapore’s sales and marketing recruitment market is being driven by the need for companies to harness the power of digital sales and marketing platforms and by the slow but growing economy.

The digital marketing sector in Singapore is considered one of the strongest in Asia and is seen as critical for companies to increase market share as business conditions improve but remain challenging.

“Official quarterly data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) show economic growth projections are strengthening but also that not all sectors are moving at the same speed with manufacturing accounting for the bulk of the growth,” explains Lynne Roeder, Managing Director for Hays in Singapore.

“Through our own dealings with companies of all sizes and across industries, we know businesses are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year but also that they need strong sales and marketing professionals with a good combination of skills to move ahead,” says Lynne.

“The Ministry of Trade and Industry forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2017 of one to three per cent with more than two per cent now most likely and certainly the MAS data for the last two quarters shows promise with Singapore currently tracking at about 2.5 per cent,” she says.

“However, the growth differs markedly by sector from five per cent for manufacturing to 0.2 per cent for accommodation and food services,” says Lynne.

“Helping companies generate more sales while also harnessing the powers of digital means getting the right talent on board and in Singapore, that is a challenge right now as companies are often vying for the same hard to find candidate.”

Other key observations on the industry by Lynne include:

1. “Digital transformation continues to drive the sales and marketing recruitment market in most sectors.

2. “Hiring is taking place across most vertical markets, especially by management consultancies and digital agencies struggling to keep up with client demand for their services.”

3. “Banks and insurance companies undergoing digital transformation projects are looking to agencies to provide talent they can imbed on longer term contracts to build out digital platforms. To be successful in landing such a role, candidates need a proven track record of working on digital transformation projects.”

4. “A strong trend amongst large FMCG and other companies is to use agenciesadept at running campaigns behind the scenes using data analytics.”

5. “Digital designers and digital managers with experience in marketing, social, design concepts and end-to-end experience are particularly hot.”

6. “Digital and social media managers with excellent data analytical skills remain in strong demand.”

7. “Companies are looking for PR managers able to collaborate with colleagues across the business to craft the right message and also leverage social media and positive media relationships to keep their brand in the spotlight for all the right reasons.”

8. “Marketing managers with a strong understanding of the business are needed in retail to drive branding, particularly of luxury products that rely on regular rebranding to gain an edge with consumers.”

9. “Post Brexit (the UK’s vote to leave the European Union), a number of UK engineering companies that once looked to Europe for growth are relocating to Singapore and looking for senior sales talent to ramp up sales in Asia.”

10. “Regional sales managers, sales managers and key account managers in the strong industrial space must possess extensive product knowledge. For example, if the product is a forklift then the candidate would need a mechanical background or if it is a fire detection product, an electronics background.”

11. “Key account managers filling roles for consumer goods companies must be very good at multi-tasking and handling a high volume of work.”

12. “Sales candidates at all levels require well-developed business development skills.”

13. “Despite a shortage of sales talent, employers continue to take a conservative approach to salary preferring to get a candidate on board before evaluating their performance before committing to a more attractive deal.”

To find out more about the sales and marketing industry, please read our inside story of the sector in Singapore here.

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Hays is located in Singapore at Level 27, UOB Plaza 2, 80 Raffles Place, Singapore.

Contributed by Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.