Singaporean businesses are on the hunt for artificial intelligence (AI) expertise, creating opportunity for finance-focused partners to capitalise.
Findings from specialist recruitment firm Robert Half report that 86 per cent of CFOs in Singapore are either already implementing AI or data analytics programs or plan to in the next 12 months.
Within this group, 30 per cent plan to hire additional permanent finance professionals to implement AI programs in the next 12 months, while 22 per cent plan to hire temporary finance professionals.
“The skills shortage in the financial employment market continues to impact companies across Singapore,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore. “Employers should take an ongoing strategic approach to staff attraction and retention, starting with having a clear view on the required skills needed to help support AI and robotics initiatives.
“Conducting an internal audit and assessing which experts need to be hired externally, as well as identifying the training programs needed for existing staff are crucial to successfully tackle and implement the ongoing digitisation efforts.”
According to Imbert-Bouchard, the increased demand for expertise comes in response to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's $27 million Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant in the financial sector.
The AIDA Grant is aimed to further help financial employers boost existing AI capabilities, with the leading impacts of AI and robotics in companies ranked as increased efficiencies and productivity (50 per cent), better decision-making capabilities (46 per cent) and enhanced processes (44 per cent).
“The government grant is a great step forward for the finance industry to adopt more of an AI and data analytics-focused approach to doing business,” Imbert-Bouchard added.
“Not only will the further focus on AI and data analytics help create jobs, a more tech-based approach ensures finance and accounting professionals move away from task-based roles, to focus more on processing and generating information that is critical for corporate decisions and financial reporting.
“In order to take full advantage of the benefits that AI can offer, employers need to have the right financial talent in place.”
However, with more than eight in 10 (84 per cent) CFOs admitting it’s more challenging to find qualified finance professionals compared to five years ago, Imbert-Bouchard said the growth of AI is set to further highlight the skills shortage in the finance market.