Hiring Outlook for Financial Services Employees in Hong Kong Hits a Four-Year High in 2016

February 22, 20168:10 am501 views

Hiring outlook for financial services employees in Hong Kong hits a four-year high in Q1 FY 2016. There will still be plenty of hiring action in Hong Kong in the first half of 2016, though not at the record levels seen at the start of last year.

According to the latest Hong Kong hiring outlook released by recruitment firm Robert Half, 43 per cent of non-financial services companies plan to hire more permanent finance and accounting personnel – a decline from 53 per cent at the same time in 2015.

The hiring outlook for technology professionals has also weakened slightly, with 37 per cent of companies intending to recruit in the first half of 2016, compared with 40 per cent in 2015.

Bucking the trend is the banking and financial services sector, where 57 per cent of companies intend to increase their headcount, taking their hiring activity to a new four-year high.

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from 275 senior business leaders including Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), senior Financial Services leaders and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who were asked about their hiring intentions for the first two quarters of 2016. The data covers hiring trends in three sectors:

  • Commerce and Industry (finance and accounting roles in a range of industries)
  • Banking and Financial Services (including insurance)
  • Technology and IT

Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong and Japan said the tepid hiring outlook reflects a growing concern about a global slowdown in 2016.

“Hong Kong companies will be active hirers in 2016, but there is a growing sense of caution in their thinking. So whether they act on their plans to drive business growth and hire will depend on their level of confidence in the next few months.”

See: Hong Kong Employees Confident About Growth Prospects in 2016

“Good quality candidates will still be highly sought after, in any economic condition.  Companies are smart enough to know if a good professional is available it is better to sign them up than lose them to a competitor.”

“Banking and financial services companies have the most ambitious hiring plans for 2016  as they seek to win market share by entering more markets with new products and service expansion initiatives.  However, if the global economy changes, many of these planned activities may be put on hold,” Johnston said.

Hiring Outlook Depends on Company Size

Robert Half’s research also shows companies of different sizes have different hiring intentions to start the year.

In the Commerce and Industry sector, large firms with more than 1000+ employees will be the most active recruiters, with 55 per cent adding to their headcount.

The most common reason for making new hires is to support new projects and initiatives (49 per cent), followed by product or service expansion (47 per cent) and new market penetration (41 per cent).

Mid-sized firms between 500 and 999 employees will be the most active hirers of technology and IT professionals.  The new hires are to drive domestic business growth (63 per cent), international business growth (56 per cent) and product and service expansion (47 per cent).

Mid-size firms will also dominate hiring in the banking and financial services sector with 64 per cent planning to hire in the first half of 2016.  The additional employees will be tasked with product or service expansion (54 per cent), new projects and initiatives (52 per cent) or penetrating new markets (45 per cent).

Also read: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Talent Trends for 2016

Image credit: roberthalf.com.hk

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