Market Update Q1 2015

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Hope you are well and have had a great start to 2015!
We wanted to take this opportunity to give you a brief update on the IT market for Q1 2015.
At Pinpoint Asia, we specialise in two main sectors (a) Finance Technology (b) Hi-Tech/Commerce sector.

The main trends are below:

Market’s general performance


  • We have seen the market pick up quite significantly during Q1, 2015. This quarter was far better in terms of hiring activity compared to the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.
  • We saw mainland Investment Banks trying to ramp up hiring in Hong Kong. With new projects across Retail and Institutional Securities Trading being approved, the mainland banks have been hiring quite a lot of people within technology. European and American banks were also hiring but the majority of the roles were mainly made available because of attrition. A lot of the attrition has been due to structural changes or poor bonuses. The confidence in the market has picked up enough to warrant a job change upon receiving a low bonus. Around two years’ back, many were happy to just have a job!
  • The market looks like it has made a very strong recovery after the dull years of 2013 and 2014 but it’s not at the peak levels of 2006/2007. However, it looks like confidence is returning given the economy in general is improving. Companies are talking more and more about expansion plans and the dreadful “headcount freezes” of 2013/2014 is easing.
Types of roles in demand:
We have seen a growing need for candidates in the following areas:
Investment Banking / Trading Systems


Core Banking / Retail Banking


Insurance Technology Retail Technology


– Core Java on (ideally) a Unix platform

Quant roles (IBs):

– Mathematical developers with strong academic

qualifications and knowledge of a programming language (usually




-J2EE developers primarily with knowledge of

Websphere / IBM products

– Mobile developers (Android or iPhone) (usually

with the relevant domain experience)


Windows-based languages such as C#/ASP/VB.NET

were popular hires.

Business Analysts/PMs:

– BAs with process-driven Requirements Gathering

experience and PMs who’ve managed very large programmes



– J2EE/Agile developers and C#/ASP.NET

developers who have experience with enterprise level systems

Trending Technologies

– Scala for developers, Agile methodology

including knowledge of SCRUM.

– Haskell/Python for Quants is something we came

across quite frequently

– Data Analysis/Big Data developers (including

KDB/Q) is also something we are hearing about quite a bit

– Mobile is becoming a growing trend.

(Incidentally, old languages such as COBOL also exist more in Core


– For PMs, the scale of the project and

governance experience across large programmes seem to be more


– Ruby on Rails, a strong portfolio of UX/UI

work seem to be more important

Other noteworthy points:

Infrastructure roles, especially BAU roles like Helpdesk Support, Windows/Linux Admin roles are common and continue to be a much needed skill-set in the market across all industries.

Hope you found this information useful. Please do contact us should you need more information.

If you are thinking about a change, check out our latest hot jobs!


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