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!


We are the leading specialist Investment Banking and Technology Recruitment firm focused exclusively on the Asia-Pacific markets. We believe that by changing people's careers for the better, we change their destinies. We save our clients valuable time by placing the right candidates in both permanent and contract roles.
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