, Hong Kong

Post-bonus season ushers in a flurry of recruitment activity

By Christine Wright

The second quarter of the calendar year is always a very active period for recruiters, after Chinese New Year and post-bonus season. Whilst candidates normally choose this time of year to open themselves up to new job opportunities, there is a surge in employers requiring specific skill-sets to fill the gaps left behind on top of their existing unfilled vacancies.

In China, the situation has been intensified by foreign bank branches and shared service centres intending to release new headcount, while candidate movement from bank to bank is also very active. We've noticed very high activity in the compliance and risk management field too. Risk Control professionals are in high demand, especially those with strong market knowledge, as anti-money laundering is the most serious issue facing the banking industry.

There is similar demand in Hong Kong, where candidates with strong skill sets in risk management are highly sought after in the banking and financial services sector as employers seek to curtail losses, bad debts, and compliance fines. Banking employers in Hong Kong are focused on building their risk and compliance function after years of under-performance. Also, professionals with experience in credit risk approval are in high demand as companies invest in resources to tighten the provision of credit.

In Malaysia, the explosion of digital is heightening the level of demand for candidates with digital skills. Financial services companies are increasing investment in technologies to enhance their business efficiency, which is creating a volume of new roles. The Central Bank's new regulations to encourage the digitisation of financial institutions has resulted in huge demand for talent able to manage digital transformation of financial services. As such, competition for talent with experience in the latest e-commerce, mobile, and online technologies has heated up. Companies are also offering contract assignments to skilled professionals to help complete certain projects.

Singapore is also seeing more and more employers move towards contract and temporary hiring as budget constraints cause employers to consider innovative hiring solutions. Candidates too are becoming more open towards temporary roles as they also feel the effects of the economic slowdown. However, it's not easier to secure a temporary role as competition still exists. Singapore is expected to see a rising number of senior candidates come onto the market as employers, owing to budget concerns, capitalise on the abundant pool of less experienced talent to take on a more senior remit.

Whereas employers in Japan are now openly embracing junior-level candidates in a bid to fill critical skills shortages. The jobs market is expected to see strong hiring activity this quarter as companies step up efforts to sustain business growth in the new fiscal year. A large number of junior-level positions are being opened to young talent so employers can fulfil immediate requirements but also hone skills of future senior managers.

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