Market Update Q4 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope you’ve had a great and relaxing time over the festive period! On behalf of everyone at Pinpoint Asia, I’d like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2015!

I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a brief update on the IT market for Q4 2014.

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:

img1 We saw hiring volumes remain consistently good throughout Q4 across all of our clients, which is unusual for this time of year, as most managers are winding down their budgets for the year. This could be because, in general, the markets have been relatively less volatile throughout this year; investment banks who have invested in Equities have committed to their hiring plans; and the overall economy has picked up compared to 2013.
In Q4, we saw an increase in development and infrastructure roles across our investment banking and commercial banking clients, and salary increases for junior-mid level roles were in the range of around 15-20% for Investment Banks and around 10-15% for commercial banks.
Project Managers and Programme Managers were in demand in the Insurance sector. The ones who were successful typically had experience across Regional Projects and budget management responsibilities.
Expertise in FX was a common theme across both Support and Development roles. We saw more demand for Developers and Support candidates with domain knowledge in FX trading platforms.
Both our Banking clients (Commercial/Investment Banks) and Commerce clients have told us that they expect a higher uptick in hiring in 2015. We expect the same from our clients in the Insurance sector.

Types of roles in demand:
We have seen a growing need for candidates in the following areas:

Support roles: We saw a marked increase in the number of requirements we got for qualified candidates in the FX Support space. Candidates with knowledge of FX Products and Trading Platforms like 360T/FXALL were in particular demand. We also continued to have requirements for Front Office facing Equities Support candidates with technical expertise in Unix/Shell Scripting.
Developers Java/C++/J2EE: We saw a stronger demand for Core Java and C++ Front Office Developers in the Equities space. Exchange Connectivity/Algo/OMS developers were in particular demand. Trading Systems Vendors also ramped up hiring in this space. What separated the candidates who were successful in securing interviews and ultimately jobs was the depth of knowledge they had in fundamental Java concepts including Data Structures, Threading and so forth. In addition to hiring in Equities, there was also some hiring activity in the Prime Brokerage area (similar technical skill-set). Our Commercial Banking clients continued to look for candidates qualified in J2EE development and preferred candidates with prior experience building Internet Banking systems or products related to Trade Settlement/Trade Confirmation systems and so on.
Infrastructure roles: Infrastructure roles, especially on the BAU side, were still active. Helpdesk support roles/Server Support roles (Unix/Windows) continued to be active.
Tip for developers: A technical resume in Word format is a must as that creates the first impression of a candidate in the hiring manager’s mind. Please look at our website or contact us if you’d like a copy of our tips on How to Write a Good Technical CV.

Market’s general performance:

img2Compared to the Finance Sector, the Hi- Tech/Commerce sector was less active in terms of hiring.

Types of roles in demand:
We have seen a growing need for candidates in the following areas:

Mobile Developers: Our Commerce clients were hiring strong Mobile Developers for both the iOS and Android platforms. Those candidates who were successful in obtaining interviews were those who employed a structured programming approach (ideally Agile/SCRUM) with experience in Automated Testing.
Senior Head of IT / IT Managers: Due to the expansion of business, we also saw a few mandates for Senior IT Managers (IT Directors/Head of IT). Successful candidates were those who typically had broad experience in IT with sizable companies.
UX/UI roles: The User Experience is becoming more and more important to our Commerce Clients. They were looking for strong UX/UI Developer and vet portfolios of potential candidates carefully. Experience building apps on the mobile platform was also a highly preferred requirement.
Outlook for 2015:

We have had a pretty busy Q4 which is a good harbinger of things to come. Most of our clients have told us that they expect more hiring in 2015 than what we had in 2014. Overall, we are pretty optimistic about 2015.

We believe in always doing our very best for our clients. If you’re looking to hire in IT, please reach out to us, we’d love to help you fill your roles.

Vince Natteri,


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