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Jobs in 2014 – are your skills in demand?

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

Financial Planning & Analysis, Pricing Actuaries, Retail Leasing and Business Development are just four skills in demand as we welcome an active jobs market in 2014, says recruiting experts Hays in Hong Kong.


According to the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, there are pockets of skills shortages, most notably in accountancy, retail, insurance and sales. 


Hong Kong’s jobs market will pick up pace following Chinese New Year, once candidates receive their bonus and enter the jobs market to seek their next opportunity and advance their career,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.


“As a result, we will see high demand for professionals to replace departing staff. Those people with high-level skills will be in particularly high demand. Such candidates are already looking to change jobs to improve their prospects and career development.


“We will also see jobs growth from multinational organisations looking to establish their Asian hub here. This will create demand for candidates with MNC experience.”


According to Marc, another trend impacting Hong Kong’s jobs market is the growing preference to employ candidates in temporary assignments. 


As competition increases for experienced contractors, employers are making their salary and benefits packages more attractive to entice candidates. As a result, many contractors are now working at a premium and candidates are becoming more open to temporary positions based on the potential to command a higher compensation package,” he said.


A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots for January to March 2014 follows:


  • Financial Planning & Analysis – Technology companies are developing diverse product lines, for example in the table and mobile devices sector. Retail and FMCG employers are also looking for more competitive ways to operate. As a result, experienced FP&A professionals with strong analytical, interpersonal and communication skills are sought. 


  • Internal Audit - Strong demand exists for Internal Auditors at all levels as the major banks continue to grow their group audit teams. Candidates with internal audit experience in corporate banking and capital markets gained from an international banking environment are highly sought after.


  • Regulatory Reporting Analysts, Senior Analysts and Managers – Demand has increased for these professionals in response to tighter legislation and regulations in the financial services sector.


  • Landscape Architects - Strong demand exists for Landscape Architects in response to the shortage of registered professionals.


  • Retail Interior Designers - Given the increase in shopping mall projects, strong retail experience is required for Interior Designers.


  • Relationship Managers – These candidates are counted on to manage existing corporate accounts as well as to bring in new ones for banking organisations. When recruiting, the emphasis will be on China corporate client accounts and experience.


  • L&D Managers – Many 2nd tier MNCs are investing resources in their learning and development arm in an attempt to retain staff, which is fuelling demand for Learning & Development Managers.


  • International Mobility Consultants - Asia is growing and Hong Kong is considered a regional hub for Asia Pacific. As a result, many companies are moving their talent to Asia from other global headquarters, which is creating a need for International Mobility Consultants.


  • IT Business Analysts - Business Analysts continue to be in high demand and short supply, driving salaries higher and often resulting in a bidding war between companies for the top talent.


  • Helpdesk and Desktop Support – Candidates with fluent English language skills remain in high demand.


  • Network Engineers – The ongoing shortage of Network Engineers fuels high demand for their expertise. In addition, companies are starting to outsource less to service providers in order to regain control of their network internally to save costs.  


  • Mobile Application Development Managers and Project Managers – Within financial services mobile applications are changing business processes and revolutionizing the way that banking and financial services provide products and services to their customers. As a result there is high demand for middle and senior level candidates familiar with leading teams capable of cross platform development across Android and iOS platforms.


  • Pricing Actuary Managers – Within insurance there is a steady stream of opportunities in Hong Kong for pricing actuaries professionals, however supply falls short of the demand from insurers.


  • Operational Risk Managers – A focus on improving internal controls within the insurance industry has created high demand for people with professional accountancy backgrounds to implement internal controls. Their exceptional technical foundation is valued.


  • Funds Lawyers - Continuing demand for professionals with fund formation as well as transactional skills is evident in both the in-house and private practice markets.


  • Regulatory and Compliance Lawyers - 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.


  • Administration Assistants - Many roles in the finance industry are now offered on a contract basis, and Administration Assistants are in high demand for these contract roles.  


  • Experienced Receptionists - Some organisations, especially banks and legal firms, require experienced Receptionists who are stable and loyal. But most candidates prefer to move on from this role after a few years, and thus ‘career’ receptionists are highly sought after.  


  • Quantity Surveyors with strong Greater China regional exposure - Large property developers and hotel groups are growing their China portfolios and looking for these candidates.


  • Retail Leasing professionals - Due to the increased focus on Hong Kong retail and the expansion of most retail networks, we are seeing high demand for retail leasing professionals.


  • Digital Marketing Managers – Employers are looking for experienced managers to run regional campaigns to maximize impact and increase visibility.


  • Marcomms/Digital Managers - Integrated specialists who can combine offline and online marketing expertise are in high demand.


  • Business Development Managers - As we have seen over the last year, there continues to be a need for strong business development professionals. It is an area where there is a major shortage and a lot of competition between the firms to secure talent.


  • Retail Store/Area Managers - The retail sector in Hong Kong is ever growing and there is strong demand across multiple disciplines. A strong grasp of three languages, English, Mandarin and Cantonese, is highly desirable and can put candidates in the front running positions.


  • Civil Engineering – Civil engineering candidates are in high demand, particularly experienced Engineers and Project Managers due to ongoing work with MTR on the new direct railway line.


  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers - Mechanical and Electrical Engineers are in demand as numerous building services opportunities have become available for skilled personnel.


For the full list of skills in demand, please view our Hays Quarterly Hotspots.


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



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