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Trilingual candidates command premium rates in Hong Kong

Updated: 14 Jul 2014


Regulatory Reporting Analysts, Civil Engineers and Front-End Developers are just some of the professionals in high demand as Hong Kong continues to grow as an Asian hub for many international financial services firms, says recruiting experts Hays.

In its latest Hays Quarterly Report, the recruiter says that jobseekers with Cantonese, English and Mandarin language skills are at a distinct advantage in the growing economy.

"With Hong Kong continuing to grow as a regional hub for multinational companies, demand from enterprises and financial services firms for skilled professionals is increasing,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

“In addition, Hong Kong’s geographic and political position to mainland China allows it to act as a gateway for global companies that seek to break into the China market. For this reason, trilingual candidates remain in short supply and they can command premium rates.”

According to Hays, many departments are seeing jobs growth. “Chinese banks and financial institutions are looking to recruit highly skilled candidates from the local market. We continue to see a lot more movement and activity in the securities, brokerage and investment management space,” says Christine.

“We are also seeing technical skills shortages across engineering, IT, insurance, construction and sales & marketing, to name a few. HR is another active area for jobs as organisations expand, restructure or up-skill existing workers.”

So are employers hiring in your profession?

A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Report for July to September 2014 follows:

Accountancy & Finance: Within financial services, employers are recruiting Regulatory Reporting Analysts in response to tighter legislation and regulations. Financial Regulatory Reporting Managers at the senior level are also sought. In commerce, Internal Auditors are in high demand given Hong Kong’s position as a regional hub, as are Financial Planning & Analysis Managers in response to the fast changing business environment.

Banking: Quantitative Analysts with strong programming skills are in demand as funds continue to diversify. Corporate Banking Relationship Managers are also sought as banks are refocusing their resources on growing their corporate banking business where there is a steady stream of income. Increased business flow resulting from the addition of Local Corporate and China Corporate Relationship Managers has created the need for experienced Approvers to join the banks to review and approve transactions.

Construction: Demand for Civil Engineers continues to rise, particularly for experienced professionals with structural and geotechnical engineering backgrounds. Quantity Surveyors at all levels remain highly sought after, especially those in cost and budget management for post-contract projects within the civil and infrastructure construction industry.

Engineering: Structural Engineers are in demand due to an increase in complex building projects in Hong Kong. Several multinational engineering consultancies are looking to expand their teams in order to take on intense design work for these large-scale projects. The need for Sustainability and Environmental Engineers is still present for multinational engineering consultancies.

Finance Technology: Project Managers and Business Analysts are in strong demand in specific areas such as Front Office Trading. This is because numerous investment banks and asset management firms are looking to utilize their trading systems to give them a competitive edge. Investment banks continue to recruit experienced IT Audit, Technology Risk and Information Security professionals with strong expertise in facing regulatory bodies across the region.

Human Resources: As the HR business partner structure is now more common in the commercial sector we are seeing an increase in demand for HR Business Partners. Also, multinational corporations are hiring temporary staff to finish their compensation and benefit projects. C&B talent is always in high demand, especially candidates who have regional exposure.

Information Technology: There are currently many opportunities for Front-End Developers in Hong Kong due to the increase in software development jobs. IT Relationship Managers are also in demand as IT jobs are moved offshore and companies require specialists to manage inter-business activities.

Insurance: Agency Development candidates with agency sales management, recruitment and strategy experience are in particularly high demand. So too are Partnership Distribution specialists due to substantial regional growth within the life insurance industry. These professionals are sought as insurance companies are looking to further expand all distribution channels.

Legal: Construction and Property Lawyers remain in demand due to new buildings and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong. Also, specialists in derivatives and Financial Services Regulatory Lawyers are sought by financial institutions.

Office Professionals: There is strong demand for experienced Legal Secretaries with good English, basic Mandarin and stable experience within specific sectors. Administrators are always in demand but those junior candidates who are proactive and willing to learn are at an advantage.

Property: The increase in mainland developers entering the Hong Kong market has driven up the demand for experienced Project Managers to move into more senior positions. Given the large number of new mixed-use developments being completed in the region, there’s been an increase in demand for Retail Leasing and Property Managers with a strong understanding of contract negotiation with tenants and stakeholders.

Sales & Marketing: There has been consistently strong demand for Store Managers as Hong Kong remains one of the world’s leading cities for luxury brand presence. Senior marketing professionals with experience in digital marketing remain in demand as social media and e-commerce are the key areas of development for many businesses.

For more on each sector, please see the full Hays Quarterly Report, at

Hays is located in Hong Kong at Unit 5803-7, The Centre, 99 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.

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

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