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Can’t get enough: Specialist Banking, Human Resources and IT specialists are back in demand this quarter

Hays Quarterly Report October - December 2011
Updated: 01 Mar 2014

Credit and risk candidates, Human resources specialists and IT Project Managers are just some of the skills in demand this quarter, says recruiting expert Hays.

In their latest Hays Quarterly Report, for the October-December quarter, the recruiter found that many of the industries previously affected by the economic downturn in 2008, such as IT, banking and HR, are now booming and employers are struggling to fill the large number of vacancies available in the market.

“It has been fascinating to see the rise and fall in demand across the recruitment industry over the past few years. So many candidates in this quarter’s hotspots list were affected during the first market downturn and faced some difficult times and now employers can’t get enough of their skill sets,” says Emma Charnock, Regional Director of Hays in China and Hong Kong.

“The banking market has started to quieten a little following the next wave of economic uncertainty, yet there is still a very strong demand for both credit and market risk candidates. Due to the aftermath of the global financial crisis, financial institutions are being very cautious about how business is conducted so they are investing more heavily in this area.

“Companies rebuilding their HR functions and investing in retaining talent globally are actually facing a candidate short market. As a result, companies have to become far more competitive to secure talent by increasing salaries and offering more interesting opportunities. We are seeing a steady number of roles becoming available across the full spectrum of HR.

“Within IT, we continue to see a high level of vacancies for Project Managers with key skills and experience across business, application and infrastructure projects from both the banking and non-banking sectors. Some employers are lengthening recruitment timeframes to wait for the perfect candidate, while others are looking to overseas markets to source talent to address the skills shortage clearly visible in the local market.”

According to the Hays Quarterly Report, to overcome the skills shortage being felt in these areas, companies are encouraging more internal referrals and working hard on their retention policies. They are also more open to overseas candidates who can bring international experience.

The Hays Quarterly Report lists the skills in most demand in Hong Kong for the October - December quarter:

Hays Accountancy & Finance – Financial Services: Financial Reporting, Internal Audit, Operational Risk Management and Finance candidates are wanted to fill available roles, particularly within insurance companies. With changes in IFRS standards and tighter internal and external regulation, financial services firms are also seeing greater value in Management Reporting candidates.

Hays Banking: The market has started to quieten a little but there is still a very strong demand for both credit and market risk candidates. Due to the aftermath of the GFC financial institutions are being very cautious about how business is conducted and they are investing more heavily in this area.

Hays Construction: Tunnel Engineers, Geologists and Construction Managers are in demand. There is also demand for Project Managers with China experience. Experienced candidates are needed to help with a number of MTRC projects which largely involve working with the earth. Due to expansion in China, many firms are concentrating their efforts on this market.

Hays Executive: Experienced candidates in Treasury Sales, Asset Management Sales, Global Transaction Services, RMB Corporate Financing - bonds and IPOs are in high demand in Hong Kong’s executive space.

Hays Finance Technology: Candidates with experience in Application Support, Networking and Infrastructure are sought in the market. There is also strong demand for Change Managers, Process Business Analysts and Technical Business Analysts. Business Analysts and Project Managers are in high demand, while areas such as Applications Support have also experienced a spike in demand.

Hays Human Resources: Experienced candidates with solid generalist skills, specialist training, L&D, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition backgrounds are in high demand as HR departments are once again built up. L&D candidates are wanted as employers place stronger emphasis on training to increase industry and company awareness, in addition to staff retention.

Hays Information Technology: We continue to see a high level of vacancies for Project Managers with key skills and experience across the full spectrum of business, application and infrastructure projects from both the banking and non-banking sectors. Sales Managers with the right regional experience across Asia are sought while IT Architects with extensive solution or enterprise architecture experience are wanted for the insurance sector.

Hays Insurance: We are seeing high demand from insurers following recovery from the GFC. With some significant changes and buyouts taking place, we expect to see new opportunities created and market movement. Asset Management Specialists, Regional Compliance Managers and Audit Managers are wanted to fill a number of available openings this quarter.

Hays Office Professionals: Legal Secretaries, Receptionists and Executive Assistants with good audio-typing, Chinese typing and Microsoft application skills, along with Mandarin proficiency are in strong demand. These skills are highly desired in the legal and financial industries. Translators, ideally with international law firm experience, are also sought.

Hays Property: There is still a high demand for Project Managers specialising in corporate fit-outs, re-stacks or A&A as companies seek to maximise the limited office space available in Hong Kong. Hong Kong developers continue to build large mixed-use developments in China, focusing on the high growth tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Project Directors and Quantity Surveyors are in demand during the construction phase and senior level Leasing / Asset Managers are needed to manage the assets once built.

Hays Sales & Marketing: Communications, Public Relations and Marketing specialists are in demand as companies try to build a stronger presence within the business and financial sectors. Employers want candidates who can bring solid internal and external communications experience, combined with strong English and Mandarin language skills. Event Managers are also being sought as a result of increased events activities towards the end of the year

View the full Hays Quarterly Report at

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

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For further information please contact Paula Tychsen, Marketing Executive – PR & Communications of Hays, on 02 8226 9739 or

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2011, Hays employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, Hays reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit of £114 million and placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments. 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.

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