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Shanghai-Hong Kong 'through train' expected to generate new banking jobs



Updated: 13 Oct 2014

Financial Planning & Analysis Managers, Transaction Banking specialists and Java Developers are just some of the professionals in high demand as Hong Kong prepares to allow cross-border stock trading with Shanghai this month, says recruiting experts Hays.


In its latest Hays Quarterly Report for October to December 2014, the recruiter says that the so-called ‘through train’ stock connect scheme will potentially invigorate the A-share market in China by attracting more foreign capital as well as boost Chinese investment in the Asia-Pacific region.


“The scheme has been widely speculated to open on October 27 and will allow investors to conduct cross-border trading of stocks listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai under a total quota of 550 billion yuan (HK$694 billion),” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.


“We don’t expect to see an immediate impact on the Hong Kong jobs market in the coming quarter but

in the long run the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect has the potential to boost cross-border investment, especially when China’s financial sector further opens up and investors can have ready access to a fully convertible yuan.


“The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, securities companies and brokers are expected to benefit from increased transaction volumes and new business opportunities resulting from this gradual integration, and this in turn will generate new jobs in the banking sector.”


According to Hays, demand is strong for Java Developers who specialise in electronic trading platforms.

“Banks are developing their front and back offices to support their focus on equity derivatives. The development of core trading banking systems has increased rapidly as banks upgrade their legacy technology to accommodate a much faster delivery of their banking services,” says Dean.


The Hays Quarterly Report shows that it’s not only the banking and IT industries experiencing healthy jobs growth in Hong Kong. Strong demand exists in many other sectors such as accountancy & finance, construction, HR, insurance, legal, office professionals, property and sales & marketing.


This is supported by findings from the recently released 2014 Hays Global Skills Index, which shows that wages in Hong Kong’s high-skill industries are rising much faster than in low-skill industries.  Such wage pressure indicates that employers are competing for highly-skilled professionals in high-skill industries.


So are employers hiring in your profession? A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Report for October to December 2014 follows:


Hays Accountancy & Finance

  • Regulatory Reporting Analysts There has been a significant increase in demand for Regulatory Reporting Analysts with HKMA experience in response to tighter legislation and regulations.
  • Financial Planning & Analysis Managers – These managers are sought as companies need professionals who can adapt to fast changing environments and possess strong analytical, interpersonal and communication skills.


Hays Banking

  • Retail and Private Banking Relationship Managers Retail banks are currently aggressively hiring for their front lines in a push to generate increased revenue. Meanwhile private banks are investing as they see upside in the region for private banking products.
  • Equities Sales and Sales Trading Experienced candidates who can bring an active client base are sought after by smaller regional and Chinese firms. Skills in Delta One and Algorithmic trading are in demand as clients continue to require high speed and low cost trading options.


Hays Construction

  • Quantity Surveyors The number of skilled Quantity Surveyors available continues to fall short of the demand for these professionals in Hong Kong. Chartered Quantity Surveyors are highly sought due to the large amount of work in the civil and infrastructure construction industry.
  • Project Managers Project Managers are an important part of any project and ensure construction work is delivered on time and within budget. Every contractor requires skilled and proven Project Managers, but there continues to be a shortage of these professionals.

Hays Human Resources  

  • Compensations & Benefits Managers C&B talent is always in high demand, especially for candidates who have regional exposure. More companies are focusing on this area due to the competitive labour market in Hong Kong.
  • Regional HR Managers With more regional headquarters moving to Hong Kong, employers are increasingly looking for HR candidates with regional exposure. Organisations prefer candidates with a stable track record in HR, as they are seen to be more reliable.


Hays Information Technology

  • Data Analysts – The trend for companies to hire experts in data analytics continues to grow as businesses look to discover patterns in data which can be useful for future market information, answering specific business queries, increasing efficiency and improving operations.
  • Core Java and C# Developers As Java Developers are the backbone of technology departments they continue to be in demand. Interestingly, banks are developing their front and back offices to support their focus on equity derivatives.


Hays Insurance

  • Compliance professionals There is an increasing demand for candidates with solid compliance experience. On a local level, there have been several key regulatory changes involving a number of insurance products and selling processes.
  • Strategic Planning professionals – There is currently a significant shortage of talent in the insurance sector that has experience in implementing strategy and demand is expected to remain high over the next quarter.


Hays Legal

  • Compliance specialists Compliance and regulatory practices, both contentious and non-contentious, remain busy with further expansion expected. The highly publicised increased scrutiny by Chinese regulatory bodies is set to create opportunities for Lawyers with compliance skills at both law firms and multinational corporations.
  • Corporate practice teams Due to very high workloads for associates during the third quarter, and a solid pipeline for the remainder of 2014, employers are hiring for their corporate practice teams.


Hays Office Professionals

  • Customer Service Officers There is a high demand for these professionals in the insurance and financial sectors due to the role requiring particular insurance qualifications.
  • Team Administrators Many multinational corporations are now expanding and developing new teams, creating high demand for Team Administrators.


Hays Property

  • Project Managers – Developers from both Mainland China and Hong Kong are still looking for skilled Project Managers from an architecture background to execute large-scale projects in both regions.
  • Retail Leasing/Property Managers – Given the large number of new mixed-use developments being completed in the region, there has been an increase in demand for Retail Leasing and Property Managers with a strong understanding of contract negotiation with tenants and stakeholders.


Hays Sales  & Marketing

  • Social Media professionals Many businesses understand the importance of developing their own in-house digital marketing team, rather than depending on agencies for consumer social media engagement.
  • Communications Managers – Experienced Communications Managers are highly sought after by insurance and financial services firms. Bilingual candidates with excellent writing skills that have internal or external communications experience gained within a regional environment are in great demand.  


For more, 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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