HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

8 hiring trends in Hong Kong's banking and financial services sector

Mandarin-speaking executives are in greater demand.

Recruiting expert Hays recently reported that attracting and retaining young bankers is one of the challenges faced by financial services firms in Hong Kong. 

Hays also provides an overview of what else is occurring in the banking & financial services sector in Hong Kong:

1. We are seeing greater demand for bilingual Mandarin-speaking senior candidates for managing director and executive director roles in global banks where English used to be the standard.

2. Increasingly, banks and financial firms want candidates that not only speak Mandarin, but also understand the rules and nuances of doing business in mainland China.

3. There has also been a notable increase in demand for credit analysts proficient in Japanese. However, demand for Mandarin-speakers for credit risk roles remains high.

4. Hiring requirements for credit risk roles are uncompromising. Candidates must have the right language skills, product exposure and technical capabilities. Roles are remaining vacant for six months to a year when the right person cannot be found.

5. Asian banks based in Hong Kong are creating new headcount as they look to expand their reach in the region. Candidates must have strong English language skills plus an additional language with Mandarin, Japanese or Korean.

6. Established banks are experiencing talent retention challenges and are using more internal mobility opportunities to keep banking careers interesting aware many of those working in banking & financial services are also eyeing opportunities to work in the corporate sector, asset management field and other sectors.

7. Junior bankers with less than two years experience are probably the greatest flight risk right now. Many view their increasing responsibilities around compliance, reporting and due diligence as a career deal breaker and regard hedge funds and the financial technology (fintech) sector as more exciting.

8. Larger banks are increasing their graduate intakes but shortening their trainee programs to move more grads onto the frontline faster to help meet the demands of corporate and commercial banking relationship headcount. This is putting the once prestigious standing of banking traineeship programs at risk.

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