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Road to a Bright Future

Felix Lee

Hong Kong employment is set for a positive second-half of 2018 as the city continues to benefit from China’s growing economy and strategic initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area, according to a recent KPMG research. Felix Lee, Head of KPMG’s Executive Search and Recruitment Services, discusses key hiring trends.

Firstly, why is an accounting network engaging in recruitment?
As a business unit of KPMG, working alongside a professional group of advisors, we provide recruitment services as well as insights on the latest human resources and market developments across a variety of businesses and professions, serving clients across a wide range of functions and industries. This gives us competitive edge, as we are able to draw on the firm’s professional expertise and deep knowledge base.

Tell us about your employment research
The 2018 Hong Kong Recruitment and Salary Outlook is the second report we have produced sharing our views on the Hong Kong employment market, with additional analysis on the workforce’s attitude towards changing jobs and their salary expectations. Our analysis is based on the responses of over 600 business executives surveyed for this report. The majority (85 per cent) were professionals from managerial to C-level executives, representing a variety of industries including consumer markets, financial services, industrial and manufacturing, professional services, real estate and technology.

What did you discover?
There’s a positive sentiment among employers who see advantage in Hong Kong’s stable regulatory system and transparent tax regime, which enhance its competitiveness in attracting overseas business opportunities and international talent. So in an environment conducive to growth, buoyed by initiatives such as the Belt and Road and the Greater Bay Area, many businesses in Hong Kong, in particular Chinese mainland corporates, are expected to invest additional resources in recruitment this year.

Why Chinese mainland corporates in particular?
An increasing number of Chinese mainland corporates are establishing offices or subsidiaries in Hong Kong. This is because the city is viewed by many Chinese companies as an integral part of their Belt and Road strategies. It is the ideal platform for them to capture overseas investment opportunities as well as expand regionally and globally.

Which sectors stand out?
Financial services and new technologies are expected to be strong, as close to 46 per cent of respondents from these sectors said they anticipate increasing headcount this year. Technologies in relation to product innovation and improving business efficiencies will support the growth of traditional industries such as retail and services - for example, many businesses are focusing on online-to-offline (O2O) integration in order to enhance their customer experience.

The legal, risk and compliance sector will also remain highly competitive, given the global shift towards investing in risk management and compliance to support business expansion and tightened regulatory requirements.

Where will the jobs be?
Hong Kong’s goal to become a world class smart city will propel the development of technology innovation. As a result, the ability to attract and nurture tech-related talent will be crucial. The strong corporate demand for compliance professionals to keep up with regulatory developments is likely to drive employment in the asset management, private equity and direct investment segments, especially as more China-affiliated funds set up offices in Hong Kong.

In particular, specialists will be needed in the alternative investment market. This is because Hong Kong is planning a series of new incentives to reinforce its position as a key alternative investment fund hub in Asia. In addition, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has recently introduced a new listing regime to allow technology and new economy companies with dual-class shareholding structures to float on its bourse, which is likely to increase demand for corporate finance professionals.

Related Links
Belt and Road

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