Tightened regulatory requirements and the need for balance sheet integrity are fuelling the demand for accountancy and finance professionals specialising in control and reporting roles.
This is one of the findings of the latest Hays Quarterly Report, covering October to December 2012, which looks at candidate and employer trends while highlighting skills in demand.
“Due to the tightened regulatory requirements imposed by local regulators and higher standards in balance sheet integrity imposed by the banks we are seeing a demand for Financial Controllers, treasury reporting, Product Controllers, Valuation Controllers and business finance candidates,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.
“Candidates in regulatory reporting, management reporting, compliance and operational risk are also in short supply as the rollout of Basel III and newer regulations places greater pressures on finance professionals in terms of the liquidity monitoring and balance sheet control.”
According to the Report, there is a substantial flow of candidates from other regions interested in the Hong Kong market which remains very competitive.
“However, salary increases across the sector are going to be steady and candidates need to be prepared that they might not achieve salary increments they may have in the past,” says Marc.
“Therefore employer’s value propositions also need to be powerful and they must sell other non-financial benefits throughout the interview process.”
The Report also highlights a growing trend where employers are turning to contractors in the accountancy and finance sector as a way around headcount freezes. There is demand for contractors in management reporting and regulatory reporting.
“Employers also like the flexibility of trialling candidates on a contract basis, typically three to six months, for them to prove their ability and ensure they are the right person for the role before a permanent offer is made,” says Marc.
Meanwhile, candidates are also becoming more open to contracting roles, realising the benefits of working on a more flexible basis.
For the full Hays Quarterly Report, please go to www.hays.com.hk/report
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