HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Tech talents found to be "restless for new jobs"

And they're eyeing job moves from April onwards.

Employers are facing an even greater challenge to retain finance technology and IT talent this quarter with more candidates restless for new opportunities, according to recruiting experts Hays.

The Hays Quarterly Report tracks recruitment trends in Hong Kong and reveals that technology candidates are upskilling in their own time in readiness for a job move from April onwards.

“Many finance technology candidates are giving notice or planning to do so after receiving their annual bonus and this is only increasing the intensity of the hiring challenge for many employers,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director for Hays in Hong Kong.

“We are seeing an increasing number of employers recruiting from regions outside of Hong Kong, especially for newer technology skill sets as local candidates with the right skills are hard to find,” Dean says.

One area which is primed ready for a period of active recruitment is security especially in banks and financial institutions. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Cybersecurity Fortification Initiative requires financial institutions to fund additional resources this year to satisfy regulatory assessments and this is impacting recruitment demand. New talent is needed to fill roles including ethical hackers, IT security managers, IT risk professionals and, for those with the largest hiring budgets, more IT auditors as well. Other roles in demand over April to June include penetration testers to identify and create solutions to respond to threats/vulnerabilities.

“In the digital technology talent market, java/core java developers are one of the roles in greatest demand this quarter to fill roles across all levels,” Dean explains. “Although smaller companies that don’t use Java are generating good demand for candidates with python, C# .NET, PHP.”

“Technical business analysts and project managers are also in strong demand to act as a liaison between business users and the technology delivery team. To succeed, candidates must not only have solid technical skills but also excellent communication skills.”

We are seeing employers place greater emphasis on soft skills when hiring for a range of roles. Many candidates are studying in their own time to receive certifications in demand but investing some time in developing their soft skills will also pay off on the job market.

“Looking at the wider technology talent market this quarter, we are seeing demand for data warehouse architecture or administrator candidates with skills in ETL and knowledge of business intelligence (BI) tools and or big data technologies such as Qlikview, Hadoop or Python/SQL,” Dean says.

In the IT network and infrastructure space, network engineers with a background in CISCO and/or Juniper remain very much in demand.

BI roles are also in demand and mostly permanent, but candidates should take note that employers are looking to hire those proficient in both Cantonese and Mandarin due to the volume of business taking place business is in China.

Finally, with a number of companies in Hong Kong launching or planning digital transformation projects, we are seeing a number of head of digital roles coming to market.

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