Demand for Candidates with Risk Management Skills in Hong Kong’s Banking and Financial Sector

April 25, 20168:17 am1037 views

Candidates with strong skill sets in risk management are likely to be prized assets within Hong Kong’s Banking and Financial Sector as employers seek to stem losses, bad debts and compliance fines, according to recruiting experts Hays.

This is one key finding from the latest Hays Quarterly Report for the April to June quarter, which identifies key trends in the job market.

Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong, commented, “Banking employers in Hong Kong are focusing on building their risk and compliance function following years of lack luster corporate performance. We expect them to step up hiring to prevent new bad debts from arising.”

According to the Hays Quarterly Report for April to June, some of the highly sought after professionals in Hong Kong include:

  • Accountancy & Finance: Risk Managers, Management Accounting professionals, Financial Planning Analysts
  • Banking and Financial Services:Credit Risk Approval Managers, Private Banking Credit Structuring Managers, AML Compliance Managers
  • Engineering:Tendering Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Data Centre/Facility Engineers
  • Life Sciences:Consumer Regulatory Affairs Specialists, Technical Medical Affairs professionals
  • Information Technology: Business Intelligence Software Developers, SQL Experts, Net Programmers
  • Insurance: Medical Operation Managers, Compliance and Auditing Specialists, Bank Assurance Sales Managers
  • Procurement: Category Management professionals, Commodity Managers, Direct Procurement professionals
  • Property: Data Centre Maintenance professionals, Facility Management Specialists, Technical Services Managers
  • Sales & Marketing: Content Marketing Managers, Search Engine Optimisation professionals
  • Supply Chain: Material Planners, Inventory Managers, Order Fulfillment Specialists

Banking employers in Hong Kong still favour local candidates and it is particularly difficult for overseas candidates to land a job here. For those who have quit their jobs and made their way to Hong Kong, they are seeing long recruitment turnaround times given the high competition among candidates and reduced job openings compared to previous years.

See: Temporary Work is a More Attractive Option for Employees in Hong Kong

Given less positive sentiment in the banking sector, high volumes of new headcount creation is unlikely within front office in corporate or investment banking. Employers have been more cautious, hiring based on cultural fit and organisational need and they are willing to take their time to find the right person.

In terms of skills in demand for the April to June quarter, we expect credit risk approval to remain a core function of banking, with banks adding more resources here to tighten the credit culture and reduce bad debt.

“Despite weaker sentiment overall that may result in less headcount creation for corporate or investment banking professionals, candidates with credit risk approval experience will continue to be in high demand as companies add more resources to tighten the provision of credit”, according to Dean.

With increased demand for front office private bankers, client transactions are becoming more and more sophisticated, thus creating demand for new hires within private banking credit structuring. New headcount needs and a limited pool of talent within niche areas have also created high demand for product compliance candidates in investment banking.

With the fast growth in private banking and wealth management, AML compliance is a skill in demand more than ever at private banks.

In terms of candidate trends, limited opportunities in the market have driven candidates who are impatient when switching jobs to be more flexible when considering potential roles, with some lowering salary expectations to ensure their profile is considered.

Also read: Hong Kong Employees are Complacent Working Domestically: Randstad Q1 Workmonitor Reports

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