In Q2 2017, after a relatively slow Q1, we have gradually seen increased levels of hiring across the Insurance industry in Singapore.
Across the industry, the majority of bonuses were flat on last year and most organisations didn’t see many employees leaving straight after payout time.
The general job market sentiment seemed to be on the cautious side. Although there has been a high volume of hiring in some areas, Insurance professionals were often less willing to explore new opportunities.
The average recruitment process has also been drawn-out due to either a lack of urgency to hire or unrealistic expectations.
Lacklustre hirers lagged in the hiring race
Though recruitment processes were lengthy, exceptional Insurance professionals were still in high demand in Q2 2017.
The strongest professionals have been receiving multiple offers, and often the companies that provided the best interview experience and most efficient interview process came out tops.
Business change talent in demand
In Q2 2017, we have seen an upward hiring trend for business change professionals, with a lot of recruiting that went on for Business Analysts, as well as Project Managers and other roles in Project Management Office (PMO). This is driven by a number of factors such as changing regulatory requirements, cost-saving exercise, process-enhancement initiatives and structural changes.
Corporate governance remained a hot topic. Several insurers were working hard to develop their regulatory frameworks and created new headcount to cope with the intensified control of the environment. Technology Risk, Technology Audit and Compliance were particularly hot areas for hiring.
Actuarial demand was robust
Actuarial hiring has been steady throughout Q2 2017, although we have seen some interesting trends. Regionally, the preference has been for hiring local talent ‘on the ground’ due to regulatory and licensing changes, as well as cost-saving purposes. The actuarial space remained a talent-short area, especially at the 3-8 years’ experience level and across both life and property & casualty insurance segments.
Risk has been becoming a bigger focus for insurers. With some actuarial functions building up their risk management capabilities, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), as well as emerging risks such as cybersecurity risk, have become more of a focus. These areas will likely see advancements in the near future, along with an accompanying talent demand for them.
Business Development has also been a particularly busy area of recruitment, especially for personal lines and employee benefits.
Q3 outlook for Insurance hiring
We expect the hiring market for Insurance in Q3 2017 to mirror that of Q2. With little effect from bonus payouts and a sluggish market this year, there will be a continued strong demand for experienced professionals in specific areas throughout Q3.
We would advise employers to always make sure to ‘sell’ to potential hires throughout the interview process, and avoid taking what has been a job-short market for granted.
Although a lot of Insurance hiring we are seeing is due to strategic initiatives, there have been low levels of hiring at the senior end. The senior market is much more reactive and difficult to predict, often driven by professionals who move rather than planned hiring, so it will be interesting to see if senior Insurance professionals do start to take a career move.
Salary Report for Q3 2017*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Greg Hardman