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January - March 2016
Updated: 11 Jan 2016

As the bonus season is upon us, organisations are aggressively hiring talent to ensure headcount quotas are met or to ensure 2016 projects are ready to execute. Many employers are choosing to buy out a candidate’s notice period and pay new recruits a sign-on bonus.

In terms of skills in demand for the January to March quarter, there is increasing demand for insurance professionals with strong competencies and experience in channel development. Candidates who are equipped with strong product knowledge as well as extensive networks within the IFA/broker network are preferred. Investment tends to be on increasing manpower resources for the IFA channel development team.

Numerous insurers have indicated that process improvements and enhancements are being made as part of major upgrade programmes this quarter which is driving demand for project managers. External operational consulting will also increase to ensure business remains efficient.

Regulatory compliance and risk continue to shape and change insurance businesses. To ensure businesses meet compliance and risk requirements, insurers are venturing into new products, channels and markets, strengthening risk management programs, uplifting technology for compliance reporting and monitoring and investing in training to establish a stronger compliance culture. As such, compliance and risk professionals who demonstrate experience in driving these strategies locally and regionally are highly sought after. It will take time to fully adapt to regulatory changes and for the foreseeable future insurers will continue to transition in this direction. Regulatory changes will eventually instill stronger confidence in the insurance industry and create more opportunities for business growth.

In candidate trends, many are more proactively seeking recruitment market updates now, rather than waiting for the bonus payout season. Information on salaries, trends and company directions has been a critical discussion topic as candidates spend more time on planning their job search.