There continues to be an ongoing shortage of skilled and experienced professionals in Singapore's life sciences industry, says recruiting experts Hays.

Field Service Engineers, Category Managers and Salespeople are among the candidates topping the Hays Quarterly Report list of skills in demand for July to September 2015.

"The market is active and there are more permanent jobs being created," says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia. "Recent M&A activity will impact vacancies and hiring intentions in the coming quarter. Despite the ongoing restrictions placed on companies looking to employ foreign workers, there are still opportunities for people from abroad who are looking for life sciences opportunities in Singapore."

According to the recruiter, employers are focusing on candidates with a clear understanding of industry-specific ways of working. These include compliance with FDA regulations, ICH-GCP guidelines, GxP requirements, HACCP requirements and meeting ISO13485 standards.

"Employers will also look for technical and soft skills such as leadership management, conflict management and internal and external stakeholder management," says Christine. "Due to the fact that Singapore has become the regional hub for many global companies, candidates are required to have intercultural work experience and come with the ability to work in a matrix environment.

"Although there aren't many companies in Singapore with R&D centres, those companies that are based here strengthen their presence in the market through commercial functions alongside medical affairs and regulatory affairs."

Singapore has emerged as one of the main manufacturing bases for international pharmaceutical and biologics companies due to minimal levels of operational risk and the Government's support for the industry. This environment is creating many opportunities within the bio-manufacturing space, says the recruiter.

"Technical support professionals such as Field Service Engineers and Field Application specialists are highly sought after. This is because Asia's emerging economies are reaching a level of maturity whereby consumers are able to afford the full spectrum of products from life sciences companies," says Christine.

"Singapore is expected to invest further in the industry in coming years to position itself as a global medical technology hub, and as such we are seeing real growth in roles such as Quality Engineers, Category Managers and Salespeople, with a strong focus on medical devices.

"A slowdown in growth due to the lack of demand from the Eurozone has led to candidates from abroad looking into job opportunities in Singapore. Therefore, what an employer can offer in terms of an entire package, not just a basic salary, has become increasingly important if they wish to attract international talent."

For more insight on the areas of staffing demand, please see our Hays Quarterly Report.

Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.