Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am

Hong Kong’s top 10 talent trends for 2014

Updated: 01 Mar 2014


Working out which Big Data skills are actually needed and better understanding of social media as a channel are just two of the top talent trends that will shape Hong Kong’s recruitment landscape in 2014, according to recruiting experts Hays. 
“Towards the end of 2013 we saw business confidence start to rise, which should feed through into the labour market in the first few months of 2014,” said Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.
“Vacancy activity is tipped to increase, with a focus on the banking, retail and technology sectors. The legal sector will also see growth in response to regularly requirements.
“Hong Kong’s contract market will continue to evolve, while we’ll see a general expectation that candidates need to be trilingual.
“A big area of growth in 2014 will be crossover roles – as the technology, marketing and finance worlds integrate it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge,” says Marc.
“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of social media will be important, to the point where it is not an add-on but is seamlessly incorporated into the main game.”
Hays’ 10 talent trends for 2014:
1. Banking back in force: “The corporate banking jobs market will be one to watch in 2014 as new headcounts are created by established players while newer foreign and Chinese banks establish Hong Kong as their hub for Asia,” says Marc. “Transactional banking and product specialists will be in high demand as they ride parallel to corporate banking, specifically cash and trade products. And we will see more activity in credit openings in 2014 to match business growth.”
2. Regulatory response: “The legal sector is another jobs market to watch. Driven by the combined forces of the PRC Government’s anti-corruption drive and China’s efforts to align itself with international economic governance standards, there is likely to be an increase in demand for in-house regulatory and compliance specialist lawyers in Greater China. Meanwhile the effect of new capital markets regulations portends for a bumpy year within this area of the legal market, including a scramble to list before June and a solid incremental increase in activity overall. Legal hiring, both at firms and at banks,  in related areas such as corporate finance, ECM and DCM, will therefore fluctuate in synch and slightly ahead of the deal curve in 2014.”
3. Retail demand: “Hong Kong’s retail sector will continue to grow, with strong demand in 2014 across multiple disciplines. A strong grasp of three languages, English, Mandarin and Cantonese, will be highly desirable to put candidates in the front running positions. In an affluent market, there are new stores appearing almost hourly and we will continue to see growth and opportunity for suitably skilled professionals.”
4. Technology sector boom: “Organisations working in technology industries will focus on developing diverse product lines and exploring new regions in 2014. Additional accounting and regional FP&A roles will become available, and adding to vacancy activity will be new headcounts created in response to the set up of new business units or new offices.”
5. Evolution of contract jobs: “The contract market in Hong Kong will continue to grow in response to both permanent headcount restrictions and the recognition of the value of this method of engagement.”
6. Big Data dilemma: “Without doubt one of the most used (and feared?) terms in the past couple of years is ‘Big Data’. There is no doubt that the desire to process huge amounts of data in near real-time will drive innovation for how data can be harnessed to inform business and marketing opportunities. Looking beyond the hype, most of the current opinion is that it is really about analytics and a renewed focus on that is what’s required. Therefore in 2014 we will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects. ‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.”
7. Mobile App Development: “The increased usage of tablet-based applications and the associated user experience is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. Yet so few candidates combine both elements and are therefore able to build complete systems. Given insatiable customer demand for apps and an improved user experience, this skills shortage will become a more pressing concern in 2014. It could even cause general delays and interruptions in the evolution of the mobile app market at a time when it is raring to go.”
8. Technology’s integration: “In 2014 technology will no longer sit in the domain of the CTO or CIO, but will instead integrate with both marketing and finance,” says Marc. “This integration of both technology with marketing, and technology with finance, will see staff in these departments become jointly responsible for outcomes. It will create a need for people with multilevel hybrid knowledge. For example, in the digital marketing space - which will be in vogue on its own account in 2014 - professionals need to engage technology to inform their decisions. Meanwhile marketing analytics professionals use modelling and analytics practices to improve their marketing outcomes. Business analysis is another example where professionals have a functional background and in-depth knowledge of their industry and company, but also need to translate requirements in technical areas. As a result, marketing and finance professionals will need to enhance their technology skills to remain competitive in the jobs market.” 
9. Resourcing digital and social strategies: “As confidence returns to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to fully embrace digital and social media effectively when it comes to recruitment. The expectation is that a presence and activity on social media such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time.”
10. Borderless: “In our global economy the world is becoming borderless and in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. With this in mind the general expectation of candidates being trilingual is becoming the norm. This is due to the increased interaction and coverage of the China market. For those looking to move up, such language skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equallyindispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead.”

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

Search for jobs