Tech giant Google, which has often been rated as one of the most desirable employers in the world, is on a hiring spree in Singapore.
It wants to establish its first large team of software engineers on the island to support its goal of reaching the next billion Internet users. There are an estimated 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide as of last year.
The Singapore team will be the latest addition to Google's three existing engineering hubs in Hyderabad, India; Sydney, Australia; and Mountain View in the United States.
"We are establishing a large engineering presence in Singapore," said Google on the recruitment page of its website. "With its central location in Asia, diverse demographic and a strong pool of technical talent, Singapore is well suited to be a key engineering hub," it said in the Tuesday post.
It is not known how many software engineers will be hired. Google did not respond by press time.
The Singapore hub's initial focus will be to develop software that works on the Google Android operating system, which powers many of the smartphones and tablets in the world.
The Singapore software engineers will also work on next-generation technologies in areas such as mobile data management, local communities, payments and commerce. Other areas include connectivity, job search and education.
The new products and services will be designed with users in emerging markets - starting with India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil - in mind.
Google's Singapore office, which is its Asia-Pacific business headquarters, started with only eight people in 2007 and has been focusing primarily on business development, sales and marketing. It now has more than 200 employees.
Ian Gregory, co-founder of Singapore game developer The Witching Hour Studios, believes that mobile app developers will flock to Google. After all, Google is known for its creative measures to boost staff welfare, such as providing a free flow of food at work and having flexible work arrangements.
"It will be great for local developers to work in an international environment and draw on the experience of the more senior staff," Mr Gregory said.
Smaller firms are taking the challenge from Google in their stride. Adrian Ng, founder and director of six-year-old app development firm Codigo, recognised that keeping talent is always the hardest for any company.
"But I've learnt to reward the top performers well, and this has always worked for me," said Mr Ng, whose company has come up with apps for McDonald's, ComfortDelGro and DBS Bank.
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