finance

A Fulfilling Career

Left: Carey Ang | Right: Gavin See

Prudential Singapore is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore. With a rich history of 80 years, Prudential Singapore is still committed to serving the needs of its policyholders.

By Winifred Tan

Carey Ang
I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Management degree from SMU. In 2006, I started working as a Financial Consultant and became the top Associate Manager soon after. In 2010, I was also the winner of Rookie Agency of the Year and runner-up for Financial Services Manager. All these would not have been possible without hard work and a supportive and nurturing management at Prudential.

Gavin See
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, I deliberated carefully on what I was looking for in a career. Practical considerations such as remuneration, career prospects and company stature formed part of my check list. I was also looking for a meaningful and fulfilling career that would enable me to chart my career path and make a difference to society.

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Making A Difference

“Your achievements and contributions have a direct influence on the nation – impacting the life of every Singaporean.” This is the prestigious career MINDEF promises each of its employees, who is willing to make a difference.

By Suchitra Nair

Meet 28-year-old Elizabeth Chen, a Branch Head with a Finance department in the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

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Permanent Hiring Picks up Within Financial Services

Companies Focus More on Career and Personal Progression of Their Staff

The Ministry of Manpower today issued its Employment Situation report for the fourth quarter of 2009 (4Q2009). With the economy firmly on the recovery track, job creation continued to rise as unemployment shrank. Total employment is estimated to have grown by 38,700 in 4Q2009, much higher than the gains of 14,000 in the earlier quarter.

For the whole of 2009, total employment jumped by 38,800 as job gains in the second half of the year more than offset the losses in the first half. With the strong employment growth, unemployment improved significantly to 2.1% in December 2009 from 3.4% in September 2009.

The bulk of employment gains came from services, which added 32,100 workers in 4Q2009. According to Robert Half Singapore, this was supported by hirings within the finance sector, boosted by increasing demand for permanent hires as companies recognise their importance in riding out a downturn. Robert Half also observes that organisations are now also looking to invest more heavily in the personal and career progression of their employees as they seek to retain their best people amid the fast-recovering job market.

The following are comments by Mr Tim Hird, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore.

Employers fear losing accounting and finance professionals

Despite the economic downturn, employers are finding it difficult to retain talents in accounting and finance.

According to a survey conducted by recruitment specialist company Robert Half, 80% of Singaporean employers fear losing employees in accounting and finance, and have implemented various measures to encourage them to stick to their jobs. These include redistributing workload, increasing communication between managers and staff, postponing projects and starting new work-life balance initiatives.

80% of respondents felt that the current economic condition has taken a toll on finance departments, citing heavier workload, more stress and lower morale, due to an increase of turnover rate to 18%.

“Accounting and finance are core business functions vital to an organisation’s success, and amid the ongoing economic crisis, companies both globally and in Singapore are relying more heavily on these professionals to help them identify cost efficiencies and optimise expenses,” said Mr Tim Hird, Managing Director, Robert Half Singapore.

The survey gauges international hiring trends in accounting and finance across in 22 countries including Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. 4,830 human resources and finance managers participated and 179 respondents were from Singapore.

If you are seeking to land a job in the accounting or finance sector, the industry looks out for regulatory and compliance expertise which continues to remain the most sought after quality. The survey showed 70% of employers ranking skill as the top factor. 59% of employers also value candidates who have experience and knowledge of industries they are dealing with.

“Companies are still hiring, albeit selectively and at a more cautious pace. The talent shortage in the financial management function represents a renewed emphasis in cost management and control .The selection criteria have become increasingly stringent and companies are now looking out for candidates with the best mix of experience, technical abilities, regulatory knowledge as well as a comprehensive understanding of the industry,” concludes Mr Hird.