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Career progression attracts talent

Compensation & Benefits specialists, Solicitors and civil construction professionals are just some of the skills in high demand in Hong Kong, says recruiting experts Hays.

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, released today, a number of projects are coming online and will put a strain on Hong Kong’s current labour pool.

“Hong Kong still maintains a low unemployment rate of 3.4 per cent as Asia continues to perform well in the global market and overall our long-term prospects are good,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

“This is translating into vacancies and employers are looking for high-performing talent. While much of the vacancy activity is replacement driven, we are also seeing some sectors creating headcount and new contract roles as they embark on new projects.

“To attract the top talent, employers are using career progression as an incentive. Employers want candidates who will be retained long-term, and they know that if they offer a solid career development plan they will attract ambitious high performers who can add value.

“Meanwhile employers are willing to compromise on certain requirements that are not essential for the role, such as language skills. They will secure a candidate that fills 70 to 80 per cent of the criteria and train them up on the rest. This has been particularly evident in the construction sector which continues to face a tight candidate market.”

The Hays Quarterly Report lists the skills in most demand in Hong Kong for the April to June quarter:

Hays Accountancy & Finance – Financial Services: Regulatory candidates with full set HKMA Banking Returns expertise both at the preparer level (three to five years experience) and reviewer level and above (five years or more) are sought. Candidates with Basel III knowledge are also needed as a result of tightened banking regulations and an increase in regulatory returns.

Hays Banking: Experienced candidates in investment research, private equity and corporate banking as well as fund sales are in demand.

Hays Construction: With several major infrastructure projects at their peak there is a major shortage of civil construction professionals across the board. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and potentially the shortage could intensify as other major projects commence.

Hays Finance Technology: We are seeing continued recruitment in the equity derivatives space with a focus on risk and pricing candidates as well as market making.

Hays Human Resources: Compensation & benefits specialists are in demand as companies seek advice on remuneration packages and restructure benefits policies. Generalist HR candidates are sought as companies expand across Asia. Training & development professionals are needed to drive learning and development programs.

Hays Insurance: With continuous growth in the local insurance market, both life and general underwriting candidates remain in high demand. In particular we are seeing an increase in demand for the property and engineering sectors. We have also noted some activity across the accounting and finance functions within the life insurance industry.

Hays Legal: Solicitors with strong law firm experience in banking, finance, US capital markets and securities, corporate, funds (offshore and onshore), financial services, litigation, arbitration and IP law are highly sought after. There has also been increased demand for senior level Lawyers and Partners within teams.

Hays Office Professionals: Executive Secretaries and Legal Secretaries are needed. We are also seeing a number of relocations to Hong Kong at the Senior and Managing Director level, which is driving demand for new Executive Assistants and Legal Secretaries.

Hays Sales & Marketing: Senior Marketing Communications Consultants, Marketing Managers and Media Managers are needed this quarter to help employers build strong presences in the Asian market. Also sought are Manager/Senior Managers and Marketing and Business Development Managers for professional service firms, particularly law firms.

View the full Hays Quarterly Report at from Thursday, 5 April, 2012.

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 +612 8226 9739 or

About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. We are the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in Asia Pacific and the UK and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 31 December 2011, Hays employed 7,988 staff operating from 247 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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