Executive Summary – Q1 2021:
- It feels like 2007 all over again: The demand for tech talent across several areas has been exploding this past quarter and that is certainly not an understatement! Candidates have been receiving multiple offers/counteroffers and significant increases in salary. Crypto/blockchain firms are also actively hiring again wooing candidates from traditional banks and paying them handsomely – both in traditional cash and in tokens!
- Contracting hiring vs permanent hiring: Contract hiring has not lost steam despite permanent hiring picking up. In our experience, normally, when permanent hiring picks up, contracting goes down as candidates in Hong Kong/Singapore prefer permanent roles to contract roles. Right now, however, there is solid demand for good candidates on both fronts.
Singapore as a tech hub: Given Hong Kong’s political uncertainties, Singapore is becoming an increasingly important tech hub for many bulge bracket firms including Goldman Sachs. However, sponsoring visas is still quite a slow and uncertain process in Singapore which is sparking a local war for talent
Overview of the sectors we cover
- Finance Technology:
- Investment Banks and hedge funds have been beefing up trading teams across Equities/Structured Products. Candidates in demand have been C++/Java developers/DevOps candidates. Also, there is a strong demand for good Data Technologists, Data Scientists, and Data Analytics personnel.
- We did observe a new trend in the relatively nascent area of blockchain development. Firms were also looking for candidates with experience in Solidity to build Decentralized Finance applications. This area could potentially become massive in the not-so-distant future but there are regulatory headwinds and challenges
- Goldman Sachs is hiring massively in Singapore and so are several other companies. However, visa sponsorship for foreign talent is increasingly tough which is resulting in many hedge funds continuing to grow in Hong Kong where sponsorship is slower compared to before but still very much possible.
- Insurance Technology:
Hiring has been strong in the Insurance space. Many have even been snapping up talent from COVID-struck industries like aviation. Insurance Firms have been looking to fill senior leadership positions and roles within digital technology including project managers, testers, and developers.
- Commerce Technology:
- Recruitment in the commerce space has primarily been in the Cloud Enablement/Digital Space as firms are becoming increasingly more tech-savvy to thrive in a COVID/post COVID environment. Technologies to enable working from home are now becoming ubiquitous.
- Cloud also helps proliferate the use of data-related technology like data lakes, data analytics, big data, AI, and ML. We have seen an increasing demand for talent in these areas too.
We spoke to Greg Au Yeung (CIO for Saxo Bank) about his career, technology in China and his new YouTube Channel called “Inspiring China”. Please give it a listen and do let us know what you think!
We hope you found this information useful. Please do contact us should you need more information.
Vince Natteri, Managing Director
(on behalf of the Pinpoint Asia Recruitment Team)