Executive Summary – Q3 2021:
- The technology market has been red hot. We have been observing candidates receiving multiple offers and eventually counter offers, as their current firms try to retain them. Branding has become more important than ever for firms to win candidates over.
- The crypto trading space has been very active. Candidates from traditional Investment Banks were being paid significant increases to join this area. Future demand for technologists to build DeFi (Decentralized Finance) applications will probably result in even more hiring.
- Finding strong talent within IT Security has been among the most challenging roles we have received this past quarter as these candidates are sought after by almost every major firm and very hard to find/attract.
Overview of some of the sectors
- Finance Technology:
- There has never been a hotter time to enter this area. Due to travel restrictions and the difficulty in bringing foreign talent into Hong Kong, salaries have gone up dramatically. Several lucrative opportunities exist for strong technologists who are physically present in either Hong Kong or Singapore. Singapore candidates would typically need to be PRs or Citizens given the difficulties in getting work visas sponsored.
- The Wealth Management business has been particularly active and buoyed even further by schemes like Bond Connect. We have noticed an increasing demand for technologists under the Wealth Management division which typically caters to various innovative FinTech initiatives.
- Hottest roles are in the development space (Java/full-stack developers), and in the IT Security area. Python developers have also been in demand.
- Insurance Technology:
- AIA has announced its hiring plan of adding another 250 people with an increased focus in the areas of Technology, Digital & Analytics.
- FWD has announced its listing in the US market.
- In general, insurance companies are expecting business to bounce back very soon, especially with the return of Chinese customers. Development in the areas of Digital, Cloud, and Analytics is the major reason for continued hiring.
Overall Technology Manpower Trends:
- We are now experiencing a peak in terms of hiring demand for this year. Part of this demand has come from the need to backfill roles as many technologists have emigrated out of Hong Kong into countries like the UK and Canada. At the same time, it has been difficult to attract external talent from other countries due to the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements because of COVID.
- Since June 2020, firms have been realizing the importance of technology and digital transformation both during COVID and post-COVID times. This has resulted in companies proactively hiring such talent and paying handsomely for it which has caused bidding wars.
Vince Natteri, Managing Director
(on behalf of the Pinpoint Asia Recruitment Team)