Sector Spotlight: Human Resources

Hiring has resumed in 2021, but there have been some significant changes to the landscape. The Straits Times reported that government initiatives such as the Jobs Support Scheme and SGUnited collectively sow the seeds to help workers and employers recover from Singapore’s worst recession since independence, and companies are taking advantage of these to pivot and transform themselves for the new circumstances.

One emerging trend in the area of Human Resources (HR) is a preference for in-house hiring over outsourcing to third parties. Another is the increasing importance of specialised HR roles such as compensation and benefits analysts, career coaches and HRIS project managers.

Hiring in HR

The employment market for HR professionals is expected to gradually improve in 2021, as companies resume hiring activities. The Ministry of Manpower’s 2020 Q3 Advance Labour Report revealed that 59% of companies surveyed have indicated plans to hire in September, compared to 44.1% recorded in May.

Essential HR positions such as payroll executives and HR operations executives continued to see steady demand. They were needed to cover leaves and oversee operations in putting work-from-home or shift practices in place.

Of note is that many more jobseekers have entered the market, which has caused employers to raise hiring expectations. This results in longer interview and onboarding processes, so jobseekers are advised to be prepared for such if they wish to enter the industry.

What is a HR Executive?

Human Resources covers referral programs, updating HR policies and overseeing a company’s hiring processes. Their responsibilities may include designing compensation and benefits packages, implementing performance review procedures, developing fair HR policies and ensuring employees understand and comply with them.

Jobs include:

Payroll Executive

  • A-Levels and above
  • 0-2 years experience
  • 2,500 – 3,100 SGD / Month
  • A payroll executive may be expected to manage monthly payroll computation, verifying and processing for all employees ensuring legislative compliance, process backpay, unpaid leave, transfers, or any related matters and generate relevant report relating to payroll. They may also be called upon to support payroll audits. This is an entry-level position that has career advancement opportunities in the field of HR.

Payroll Manager/Specialist

  • Bachelor’s Degree in accounting, finance, statistics, analytics, mathematics, computer-related or equivalent.
  • 2-3 years experience
  • 3,500 – 4,800 SGD / Month
  • In this position, you would be expected to manage the payroll process and may lead a team of payroll administrators to ensure duties are carried out. This includes ensuring legislative and awards compliance, checking and auditing payrolls, managing company benefit programmes, ensuring efficient disbursal of these benefits, reconciling group tax, monitoring proper maintenance of payroll and tax records, balancing monthly accounts and timely submitting reports to accounting team and staying updated with new joinings, terminations and other employee tenure related information in order to process documents in a timely and efficient manner.

Compensation and Benefits Manager

  • Bachelor Degree in Human Resource or Business Management related discipline
  • 5-8 years experience
  • 6,000 SGD – 7,500 SGD / Month
  • This position requires experienced talent for formulating and implementing C&B strategies, managing human capital budgets and bonus schemes, and implementing benefits/referral programmes. The role may also require you to lead and roll-out governance-related projects such as audits and conflict of interest exercises and handle end-to-end compensation reviews and the bonuses and increment pay out cycles for the organisation, in alignment with Ministry and Cluster directions and policies.

What qualifications are needed for a career in this sector?

While entry-level positions did not require any specialised knowledge, managerial positions indicated a degree in Human Resources or Business-related subjects at a minimum. Some positions also required knowledge of specific hiring software or payroll systems such as Easy Pay Enterprise.

Companies also tended to prioritise experience in their particular sector (e.g., finance, manufacturing, F&B).

What career opportunities are there in the sector?

In 2021, companies are actively moving towards hiring again, and looking for talent to fill up the gaps created by the pandemic. There is also a greater emphasis on HR experts to add value and play a strategic business partnering role to attract the right candidates and ensure that employees remain highly-engaged. Hence, if you are interested in the path of a modern HR professional, now is a great time to start.

Apply for a career in human resources now!