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Top Financial Skills in Candidates That HR Should Watch Out For In 2019

by Deana Zafir

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What are some of the skills that you look out for when you hire professionals in the banking and finance sector? Top skill sets demanded by the banking and finance sector varies across the years. As time passes, several new skills will turn up and be in demand. Here are some of the skills that savvy recruiters and HR executives look out for when hiring manpower for the Banking and Finance industry.


Tax Compliance



Tax Compliance is the management and adherence to the tax rules of the country. Skills needed in this field include filling a return and fulfilling taxes in a timely manner. Today, there is tax compliance management software available. A ready job seeker looking to break into the finance industry is able to demonstrate familiarity with using such software, with little to no guidance.

Jobseekers with this skill can potentially be in  positions such as:

  • Tax Managers
  • Compliance Analysts 
  • Welfare Fraud Investigator 
  • Data Entry Operator 
  • Tax Compliance Auditors 
  • Property Tax Deputies 
  • Accountants  

Change Management



This is a common term bandied about in resumes. But what exactly is change management? Change management is the approach for ensuring that huge organisation-wide, people-impacting changes are carried out smoothly by those in leadership positions. Skills that demonstrate successful change projects involves -  sponsorship, communication skills, impact assessment skills, and leadership drive to motivate people to adapt to such changes where there could be strong inertia.

Mastering Change Management

In order to master the skill, change management experts will need to:

A.  Understand the Change Curve; a model used to understand the stages of personal transition and organisational change.

B. Find out the Impact Analysis by identifying the detailed consequences of the prospective change.

C. Identify the methods to Implement Change. Find out what are the core sets of change management activities that need to be done to create change. How will you make it stick in the long term?

D. Communicate Change to your employees. Let your employees know of the changes the company made by amending the organisation’s mission and core values statement, through internal company emails and newsletters, as well as meetings.

In Singapore, change management expertise skills will open up doors to job opportunities:

  • As Organisational Change Managers 
  • As Organisational Change Consultants 
  • In careers in Human Resource Management
  • In leadership and consulting positions

Strategic Thinking



A highly valued soft skill, strategic thinking is the process that assesses the manner in which people think, contemplate, and view to create a new future. Even when in non-leadership positions, strategic thinkers help guide the direction of the team and find solutions to various business-related problems.

Strategic thinking is a skill that cannot be directly taught. Instead, it calls for proactive employees to keep up to date with news and trends on their own volition. This requires employees to join networks, read widely, and engage with employees in an effort to learn more. Employees with this skill are interested to learn more about their role not only within the workplace but also broadly in businesses across Singapore and globally.

Strategic thinking is a skill useful in all careers in every single industry within Singapore.


Financial Data Analytics



Data analytical skills refer to the management, querying, and analysis of data. Employees with these skills are familiar with reading SQL (Structured Query Language) to derive their own customised queries and pull relevant detailed data that they need. Additionally, a reasonable understanding of programming is often necessary for analysts to overcome software problems - without any hangups.

Former data analyst Dan Kopf recommends learning common programming languages such as R, a language recommended for those interested in learning the origins of the statistics, as well as Python - for those looking to break into general-purpose programming.

Applicants with financial data analytics skills are free to explore the fields of:

  • Analytics and Business Intelligence
  • Financial Management
  • Product Control & Compliance
  • Project Management
  • Risk Management & Assessment
  • Technology & Operations

IT Skills



Generally, IT specialists should possess strong technical knowledge of relevant computer-based languages such as PHP, an HTML embedded scripting language, .NET, a core software developed by Microsoft that expedites programming support, and Java, a common scripting language.

In the industry, IT largely supports interactions with data management, banking transactions, internet and telephone banking. The ideal candidate working in the finance industry should have basic computer skills such as Microsoft Excel, Oracle, as well as general computing knowledge.

Basic IT skills are important to a wide array of jobs in Singapore, especially for positions within the IT, Network, and E-Commerce scene.


Effective Communication



Effective communication is the backbone of any organisation looking to meet its corporate goals. Since finance is an industry that relies heavily on data, a financial officer should be able to effectively communicate the meaning of data to stakeholders.

Typically, the ideal candidate should possess verbal, non-verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. Strong verbal communication skills are essential for presentations, whilst non-verbal and interpersonal skills are great for small group and face to face interactions. Just like strategic thinking, effective communication skills are pertinent to a wide set of careers in Singapore.


Finance Regulations Know-How



From credit analysts to investment bankers, basic knowledge of Singapore’s finance regulations is important to a wide range of Banking and Finance positions in Singapore. Good finance regulation is essential to the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of economies, and making it work as well as it can is a never-ending mission.

An employee who has knowledge of basic finance regulations will be able to contribute to the organisation’s growth, innovation, and future.

There you have it, 7 finance skills savvy HR executives and recruiters in Singapore should take note of. If you’re a job seeker, having these skills highlighted on your resume will make your cv stand out considerably more!

*EDITORIAL NOTE: We will be updating this list to include more skills from time to time, so bookmark this and check back for more updates to come!


BGC Group is an international recruitment agency and manpower outsourcing firm. With offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, BGC Group has helped over 50,000 people find rewarding careers. We believe in developing relationships based on a ground of trust between both the employer and the job seeker.

Looking for a reputable company for your manpower outsourcing needs? Contact us here!

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