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IT development professionals needed in Hong Kong

Updated: 01 Mar 2014
Skilled and experienced professionals within Hong Kong’s IT development sector are needed and salaries are coming under pressure as a result, says recruiting experts Hays Information Technology in Hong Kong. 
According to the recruiter, vacancy activity is most obvious in the areas related to ultra low latency trading systems and algorithmic trading.
“Most demand will continue to be for high calibre and experienced mid-level Developers specialized in Java, .NET Technologies as well as C++,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.
“The demand is coming from software vendors and professional service organizations, which suggests a trend towards either outsourcing or the development of IT solutions using ‘off the shelf’ solutions as opposed to developing bespoke solutions.
“In addition, the demand for these resources and the shortage of suitably qualified candidates means that organisations will undoubtedly outsource rather than attempt to recruit and retain Developers.
“It is also leading to salary pressure, with some candidates asking for salary increases of as much as 20 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile the executive level is also active. “At the executive level we anticipate more Business Analyst, Project Manager and Consultant roles will be available in the front office space, specifically in equities, fixed income and credit,” says Marc. “In infrastructure we expect to see demand for Virtualization Engineers, Datacentre Engineers and trading support professionals. There is also an increasing need for security experts.”
According to the latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, the following candidates are also in demand in Hong Kong’s finance technology and information technology sectors this quarter:
Finance Technology
  • High Frequency Ultra Low Latency Trading System Development, Algorithmic Trading and RAD Development –Hong Kong’s ever changing finance technology development arena creates ongoing demand for professionals adept in high frequency ultra low latency trading systems, algorithmic trading and rapid application development.  Banking and financial services firms rely increasingly on development professionals to equip traders with the tools and platforms required for a competitive edge against rivals.
  • Real Time Systems Programmers In trading microseconds can have a huge impact on profitability and risk. As a result, employers want developers who strive to excel and develop expertise in this area. Key programming languages involved are Java, C#, C++ and related technologies. In addition, the majority of banking institutions are moving towards agile methodologies and away from waterfall due to the complementary effect it has on streamlining processes.
  • Mobile Application Development Experts – It is becoming increasingly evident that mobile banking solutions are an integral offering for the majority of banking institutions, whether individual, organization or investment related entities. Competence in Objective C, Android and iOS is essential for candidates wishing to move into this exciting and rapidly growing space.
  • Front Office Business Analysts and Project Managers – High calibre business technology candidates specialised in the front office space are in demand, specifically in equity technology functions in investment banks. This area is profitable and is experiencing a moderate level of growth not only in Hong Kong but also across the region.
  • Development Managers – IT development professionals who have moved into management are sought in leading banking institutions that are enhancing their trading and non-trading systems across the region.
  • Senior Application Support – There is a continued need for senior candidates who can lead overseas application teams, namely in PRC and India.
  • Trading Platform Infrastructure – Singapore is attracting the majority of the expertise in this field, which leaves a shortage of appropriate talent for Hong Kong roles.
  • Security Engineers – There is anincreased awareness, as well as occurrence, of security incidents which is creating demand for Security Engineers.
  • Data Centre Managers – Several high-profile data centre relocation and consolidation projects have fuelled this need for Data Centre Managers.
  • Regional Infrastructure Deployment – As the number of rollouts and expansions into PRC continues, demand has risen for these professionals.
Information Technology
  • Network Security Consultants (Cisco, Juniper, Barracuda) – Currently there is high demand in Hong Kong’s IT market for skilled and experienced Network Security Consultants. The technical skills in most demand in this space are Cisco Checkpoint, Juniper and we are now starting to see employers ask for Barracuda. This is in addition to the standard skills and certificates required for security consultants.
  • Employers are also demanding industry certifications such as CISSM and CISSP, and on the product side CCIE and CCNA.   
  • Solution Architects, Pre-Sales Consultants and System Engineers – Many organisations are using vendors and systems integrators. This has resulted in demand for Solutions Architects, Pre-Sales Consultants and Systems Engineers. The key skills asked for include CCNA, CISSP, CISM and particularly in-depth skills and experience in identity and access management, network security and firewalls, malware and vulnerabilities management. Specifically, knowledge in information security standards such as ISO 27001, COBIT and OWASP is critical.
  • Network Deployment Engineers – The use of vendors and systems integrators mentioned above is also impacting demand for Network Deployment Engineers since more projects have been established on the vendor side and deployments and rollouts have fuelled the need for skills.
  • On the client side, hybrid profile candidates with both systems and network skills are in high demand for in-house positions.
  • C++ – This programming language is used for specific development and is widely used because it is more well-established and easily portable than C#. As a result, we are seeing demand for skills in this area as it is good for writing cross-platform coding.
  • Java – This is a highly used programming language and so candidates with these skills are in demand.
  • BI solutions – These candidates are sought to analyse and assess in development cycles.
  • Agile/Scrum methodologies – Candidates are needed to deliver solutions and support.
  • Informatica – This is a very rare form of ETL tool. As a result, there is a shortage of candidates in Hong Kong with it in their skill set.
  • Business Analysts – Business Analysts are in high demand but short supply. In fact, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of active Business Analysts and as a result highly skilled candidates are able to request higher salaries than employers ideally want to pay. We are seeing high demand from the retail, insurance and logistics industries.
  • Project Managers – There is also a shortage of Project Managers, and again the number of quality candidates is falling. Demand also exists in the retail, insurance and logistics industries.
  • Pre-Sales Consultants – Pre-Sales Consultants are in particular demand from systems integrators and vendors.
  • Solution ArchitectsHigh demand from systems integrators, vendors and the telecommunications sectors have resulted inSolutions Architects being snapped up. This has also driven up salaries for this skill set.
  • Project CoordinatorsProject Coordinators are in demand for the same reasons as Project Managers - namely there are a large number of projects across multiple industries that need to be resourced.
  • Contractors – We have also seen an increase in demand for contractors, in particular Project Managers and Business Analysts. However candidates are still reluctant to take up contract opportunities.    
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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