HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Talent dearth threatens Hong Kong's audit and compliance industry

Find out which other sectors are struggling.

According to recruitment specialist Ambition, businesses in Hong Kong are facing the difficulty of talent availability in the market especially in audit and compliance with many companies struggling to find suitable talent and roles remaining open for some time.

This is one key finding from Ambition’s Quarterly Market Insights Report, for Q4, which is a guide to the current hotspots of recruitment activity and trends in Hong Kong.

The report also found that despite economic uncertainties and the expected slowdown towards the end of the year, the last quarter of 2016 saw increased hiring in the Finance & Accounting sector, and a healthy hiring volume in the Banking & Financial Services sector due to natural attrition or new positions surfacing upon restructuring exercises.

Christopher Aukland, Managing Director, Hong Kong at Ambition: “Looking forward, 2017 looks set to be busy as headcount budgets are confirmed, bonuses are paid, and internal and external movements occur, however, there will be a slow start in January with Chinese New Year. Salary increments were higher than usual during the Q4 2016 period compensating the forgoing of bonuses when job seekers decide to leave their current roles within that quarter.”

“Despite the fact that Hong Kong companies will be actively hiring in 2017, there is a growing sense that businesses still feel uncertain about the short-to-medium term economic outlook. Employers are telling us they expect skills shortages to be a challenge and while this will only add to salary pressures, employers need to move fast. Good quality candidates will still be highly sought after, in any economic condition. Companies are smart enough to know that if a good professional is available it is better to sign them up than lose them to a competitor, and offer attractive salary packages to recruit or retain talented individuals.”

“We’ve also seen that there has been a build-up in momentum from start-ups and developing companies with local and international start-ups choosing Hong Kong as a starting point. This coupled with the increase in popularity for Hong Kong employers for temporary and contract positions will make recruitment interesting to watch over 2017.”

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