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Where will the jobs be in 2016?


Updated: 11 Jan 2016

Internal auditors, IT risk managers and site architects are just three areas of staffing demand that recruiting expert Hays says will remain in high demand in Hong Kong throughout 2016.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, for January to March 2016, skilled locals will be able to advance their career this year.

“A strong commercial and residential construction market, increased regulations in the banking sector and a large and continuously growing IT industry are all creating demand for suitably skilled candidates,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

“In other trends, employers are looking at making efficiency improvements to their supply chain through process and technology enhancements, international banks are looking to roll-out global IT development programmes and life sciences employers are forecasting high demand for new hires in an increasingly candidate-short market.

“We are also seeing a strong desire from employers to have candidates on board before Chinese New Year. This is interesting because in Hong Kong it is well-known that the hiring peak is May to June after bonuses are paid out. But what isn't well known is that the second greatest peak in hiring demand is in February just before Chinese New Year.

“Put all this together and it certainly signals an active jobs market for those professionals with the skills in demand.”

According to the January to March Hays Quarterly Report these include:

Accountancy & Finance:
Internal auditors are in demand across the banking industry and in commerce. Increased regulations placed on Hong Kong banks as well as the flow of current internal auditors moving into compliance or risk are creating this demand.
Financial planning & analysis managers are needed too as business heads demand more from their accounting teams.

Banking & Financial Services:
• Top-tier banks are seeking compliance professionals equipped with strong legal and regulatory knowledge. In particular, candidates with experience at local regulators are highly preferred.
• Due to rapid changes in regulations, general compliance candidates with a legal background, and licensing and drafting experience are in demand.

• Due to new projects commencing, there is consistent demand for project managers and site architects. Contract managers are also needed as these skilled professionals can take on surveying and overseeing vendor management.
• Developers have an increasing demand for project directors who are able to help with the oversight of multiple projects.

• Given the acceleration of the construction phase of projects, contractors are pushed to meet deadlines and require qualified HVAC engineers, project managers and electrical project engineers.

Finance Technology:
IT security is an incredibly high-demand area globally but Hong Kong is chronically behind on its InfoSec capabilities and there is strong demand for candidates in this area.
• Coupled with the security needs, there is strong demand for overall IT risk managers to make sure systems are not only secure but also capable of withstanding potential disruptions.

Human Resources:
• As employers show a growing interest in employee retention, learning & development managers with program management experience are required.
• Due to front office growth plans by banks, HR business partners are also needed.

Information Technology:
• All large multinationals have a continuous need for good business analysts in order to help business users understand the capability of technology.
Developers and programmers are always in demand as they are the engine-room of an IT team.

• Insurance professionals with strong competencies and experience in channel development are needed. Candidates who are equipped with strong product knowledge as well as extensive networks within the IFA/broker network are preferred.
Regulatory compliance and risk professionals are also sought.

• Mid-level corporate and capital markets associates who are Hong Kong, US or UK qualified are sought. Law firms are trying to source candidates from mainland China who also boast US qualifications.
Corporate crime and investigation lawyers of all levels are also needed since many mainland companies have cross-border transactions, so checks are required to ensure there are no unlawful activities.

Life Sciences:
• Major players in the life sciences market continue to focus on the specialisation of products, which is increasing the demand for skilled medical affairs professionals to act as the bridge between healthcare companies and their customers.
• Merger and acquisition activity has increased demand for skilled senior sales and commercial specialists.

Office Professionals:
• Experienced personal assistants with broad communication skills are needed, especially those with tri-lingual skills in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.
• Hong Kong employers also need more flexible support staff to help during seasonal workloads and special projects, which is creating demand for temporary administration assistants.

Vendor/contract managers are sought as Hong Kong firms look to increase the sophistication of their vendor relationships through the use of improved contractual agreements.
• Procurement teams seek to gain more in-depth knowledge of their suppliers and products, so category managers with specific category knowledge are required to enable improved pricing.

• More commercial buildings are being built in the Kowloon East area, creating demand for junior leasing talent in retail and commercial properties.
Investment analysts in commercial and industrial properties with financial modeling skills and due diligence experience are also highly sought after.

Sales & Marketing:
• There is an increase in demand for digital marketing managers with a proven track record of developing strategic online marketing campaigns that convert into sales and traffic.
• Due to this continued growth in online marketing, companies are also looking for SEO specialists to improve search rankings organically.

Supply Chain:
• Given the desire to make efficiency improvements to their supply chain, planning, order fulfillment and process improvement specialists are sought.
• Hong Kong's unique positioning as a sourcing hub for many industries and regional products will also drive a consistent need for demand and supply planning professionals who have strong forecasting skills to enable improved sales planning and inventory management.

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

Hays is located in Hong Kong at 6604-06,66/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone +852 2521 8884or email

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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