Hong Kong job market began 2017 with more conservative hiring levels, but the city showed an unexpectedly strong growth rate throughout the year, with the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis. This trend is expected to continue in 2018, driven by a boost in trade from economic growth in mainland China and globally, and by higher visitor numbers that will stimulate the hospitality, retail and service industries.
IT skills in high demand across key sectors in 2018
The continued growth of technology and digitalisation are expected to encourage the hiring of IT talent across multiple industries as companies are looking to maintain their competitiveness and cost efficiency. Therefore, technology professionals with niche and emerging skill set, including DevOps, big data, cyber security and cloud, will be highly sought after. Also, the ongoing digitalisation and automation of financial processes will generate strong demand for specialists that could show a willingness to up-skill in order to drive digital transformation projects. Salary increments in the IT sector are expected to vary greatly according to the particular skills, with an average of 10-15% for permanent roles and 15-20% for contractors when changing jobs.
Other hiring trends in Hong Kong in 2018
Although hiring levels in the financial services sector were conservative against the background of a complex and volatile global business environment, banks that had headcount freeze in previous years increased staffing levels, in particular front office investment banking and IT.
Steady growth in the legal and compliance market is anticipated in 2018. The main drivers are surging regulatory developments, entrance of new industries, rapid development of digital and fintech legal issues, and stronger investment inflow from China. Chinese capability as well as strong communication skills are getting more and more essential for legal and compliance professionals.
On the accounting and finance side, companies are increasingly relying on data in their decision making. Thus, many finance leaders will seek to strengthen their teams with talent that can improve analytical problem-solving, along with those who have high-performance communication skills to support business decision-making and collaboration with a variety of internal stakeholders.
About the Salary Survey
The Robert Walters annual Salary Survey is the most comprehensive review of professional salaries and recruitment trends around the world. The Greater China & South East Asia book consists of 9 countries, is free, and covers China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Our Salary Survey is based on the analysis of permanent, interim and contract placements made across each of our geographies and recruitment disciplines during 2017.
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