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Worried about ‘future-proofing’ your career? These professionals aren’t.


Updated: 19 Oct 2015

Senior developers, corporate real estate services managers and HKMA regulatory reporting accountants all make the list of enviable people who do not need to ‘future-proof’ their career. According to recruiting experts Hays in Hong Kong, demand for their skills is so high, and experts in these fields are in such short supply, that they can be confident there will be job opportunities for them in future.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand, they are joined by experienced senior mechanical engineers, analyst programmers, legal secretaries, demand planners, organisational development managers and corporate lawyers. Compliance professionals, actuarial candidates, digital marketing experts and regulatory and quality assurance professionals are also needed. Importantly, this demand is not expected to wane any time soon.

“These professionals are well placed to find and keep jobs both now and in the future,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong. “They don’t need to ‘future-proof’ themselves as they already have the technical skills and experience employers will continue to need in future years.

“While companies with head offices in Hong Kong are keeping a close eye on the Chinese stock exchange, there remains a large volume of high demand vacancies that need to be filled.

“For their part, candidates are taking advantage of strong hiring intentions to move jobs to advance their career. But candidates should be aware that employers show a preference for people with longer job tenures with their previous company,” he said.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, ‘future-proofed’ professions include those in:

Accountancy & Finance: Increased regulation is driving strong hiring activity for HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority) regulatory reporting accountants at all levels from officers to vice presidents. Finance managers with three years of Big 4 experience remain in high demand, as do candidates with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) experience.

Engineering: Senior mechanical engineers, plumbing & drainage engineers and fire services engineers with both English and Cantonese language skills (including fluency when it comes to technical terms) are needed. Candidates specialising in fit out projects as well as new build engineers with local experience and solid job histories are also in demand.

Supply Chain: Demand planners with strong planning and forecasting experience in FMCG and life sciences are in short supply. Supply chain managers with experience in planning, order fulfilment and managing 3PL relationships are needed too.

Property: Property professionals in Hong Kong are in high demand, fuelled by a continuous stream of projects and low vacancy rates for office space. Corporate real estate services managers, facilities managers and facilities officers are in great demand. Construction project managers and registered architects are needed too.

• Banking & Financial Services: Compliance professionals at all levels are in demand, especially at the senior manager level. We’re seeing high demand for regulatory compliance, anti-money laundering, general compliance and client due diligence professionals.

Procurement: Within the indirect procurement market candidates with specific category knowledge of IT and HR services are needed. In direct procurement, heavy industry companies and those in consumer and manufacturing want direct procurement managers with experience in global commodity management processes.

Legal: Corporate lawyers and those specialising in capital markets are in high demand, while capital markets (private practice) associates are in constant demand.

Finance Technology: Senior developers are sought for front and middle office roles to work on trading systems, market connectivity and risk monitoring systems. Banks are increasingly looking for developers to go beyond their conventional technical role and consult with the business while also managing junior developers. Business analysts at a senior level are also needed.

Office Professionals: There is an ongoing shortage of legal secretaries, while demand is rising for executive assistants in banking due to a lack of tri-lingual qualified candidates with banking experience. Candidates with administration, personal/executive assistant and secretarial experience in a multinational or large listed company are also in solid demand.

Insurance: Hiring activity is evident across the sector, particularly in actuarial at the assistant manager and manager grades for candidates with strong actuarial knowledge and relevant qualifications. In addition, while changes to the risk based capital system are a few years away from implementation, some firms are getting ready by hiring valuation reporting candidates. Candidates with experience and knowledge in this area will become increasingly sought after.

Information Technology: Analyst programmers and database engineers are needed to upgrade existing systems or implement new systems – something every company needs to do to stay competitive. Employers are also looking for business analysts and IT department managers.

Marketing: Hong Kong is not immune from the worldwide trend of devoting more marketing spend to digital and this is creating demand for experienced digital marketing experts. Candidates with specialised knowledge in social media, content marketing, analytics, SEM and SEO are sought.

Human Resources: Organisational development managers and learning & development managers are in demand. Multinationals are hiring more local executives and look to L&D to train future leaders, develop succession plans and monitor talent development.

Life Sciences: We expect a marked increase in demand for regulatory and quality assurance professionals due to the impending introduction of more restrictive drug safety regulations.

Given the high demand for talent, Hays is relocating on 1st December to bigger premises in the prestigious International Commerce Centre (ICC). The move enables us to manage our increasing number of vacancies while also demonstrating our commitment to the local jobs market and our belief in its ongoing strength. For more please see Hays' journey to number 1 in Hong Kong continues with relocation to new state of the art office at ICC.

Hays is currently located in Hong Kong at Unit 5803-7, The Centre, 99 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong. Phone +852 2521 8884 or email

To see the full list of skills in demand and trends for your industry, please visit

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

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For further information please contact Kerryn Celine, Senior Marketing Executive - South East Asia at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9844 or


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