Hong Kong Financial Services Sector Set to Brace Impact of the Growing Skills Shortage in 2017

April 11, 20178:18 am612 views

Hong Kong’s financial services sector is bracing for the impact of a growing skills shortage, according to independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half. The findings confirm that the city’s finance leaders think, it is the top factor which will shape the financial sector in 2017.

More than half (55%) Hong Kong Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) say the current skills shortage is the top factor, which will impact the financial services sector this year, thus highlighting the need for companies to proactively address their hiring needs.

In addition to the skills shortage, 2017 will also be shaped by increased demand from stakeholders – both internally and externally, as more than one in three (34%) CFOs forecast managing customer expectations as having the greatest impact on the financial services sector in 2017. Other top factors for 2017 cited in the survey include technology-driven activities (30%), risk management (28%) and compliance pressures (27%).

Adam Johnston, Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “The ‘war for talent’ is set to continue to impact Hong Kong’s financial services sector in 2017. Business leaders can expect increased competition for top banking and insurance talent to affect their hiring processes and staffing policies for the foreseeable future. It’s crucial for employers to take proactive steps to attract and retain quality financial services professionals. An efficient and streamlined hiring process can be instrumental to securing high calibre candidates who often receive multiple job offers.”

See: Salary Increases in Hong Kong Will Remain Static in 2017

“As Hong Kong financial services companies endeavour to become more competitive by addressing the changing consumer landscape and embracing technology, a growing skills gap will certainly be felt in the business community,”  Adam Johnston added. “To address key business priorities, such as new technologies, companies need professionals with adequate skillsets to maintain, develop and optimise innovative business practices.”

“By investing in employee training programs, companies can offset the potential impact of the skills shortage. To maintain ‘business as usual’ or further grow the business during times where companies lack adequately skilled staff, companies should be wise to hire contract and interim managers during peak periods or for special projects. This approach can be highly cost effective and simultaneously injecting fresh ideas into a team. Hiring interim managers also prevents troubling existing employees with higher workloads, which can negatively impact staff morale,” concludes Adam Johnston.

This annual study was conducted by Robert Half in January 2017 on 100 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors in Hong Kong.

Also read: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Talent Trends for 2017

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