General State of Hiring
In general, tech recruitment activity has continued to remain brisk despite most other sectors experiencing a downturn because of the macroeconomic climate.
We continued to see contracting opportunities on the rise but towards the end of the quarter, a substantial number of permanent roles started to open up too. This could be because the virus situation seems to be more under control in Hong Kong now and key decision-makers have started returning to work to approve permanent headcount.
The National Security Law and the impact we are observing it having on tech recruitment: we have had inquiries from several candidates looking to find work outside of Hong Kong in order to build their ‘Plan B’ in case of a worsening situation in Hong Kong.
We have not observed companies moving out of Hong Kong but we have observed newer companies looking to have their Asia headquarters based elsewhere, especially Singapore (despite the increasing difficulty in securing Employment Visas there).
At the same time, we have also been seeing more roles opening up in Hong Kong, especially with firms that have stronger ties to China. These firms see the National Security Law as a sign of stability returning to Hong Kong and are investing more in this region.
Increasing demand across leadership roles: we noticed an increase in senior leadership opportunities for CIOs, CTOs, Chief Data Officers, Chief Information Security Officers as well as EDs, and MDs in the past quarter. Firms are looking to hire experienced leaders to lead their technology functions during this time of COVID.
Banks have been posting record profits despite the crisis mainly because of the volatility in the markets. This has resulted in more roles opening up within technology. C++/Java Developers (low latency) have been in demand.
This past quarter, we saw more opportunities in the contracting space but towards the end of the quarter, we observed more permanent roles also starting to open up.
The US Sanctions have had an impact on Infrastructure hiring in Hong Kong as we observed some data center/infrastructure roles being put on hold in Hong Kong. Some of these roles were moved to Singapore which seems to be the chosen beneficiary of these sorts of infrastructure-related positions.
We saw an increase in roles within the Compliance space as banks are trying to get a stay on top of the US sanctions and the National Security Law in Hong Kong. These included BAs/PMs and developers to work with the Compliance and Regulatory departments of the banks.
Hardest roles to fill this quarter: DevOps and SRE roles as major Investment Banks and buy-side firms have been looking for this sort of talent. They are hard to find as they typically require a strong knowledge of both programming (typically in python) and production support (it’s seen as a hybrid role of both functions)
Hiring within insurance companies remained strong despite COVID affecting certain areas of their business. These companies are now betting on new opportunities from schemes like the ‘Insurance Connect’ scheme and other business opportunities in the Greater Bay area.
Transformation going at full speed. Insurance companies including AIA, Prudential, Manulife, and FWD are constantly investing more headcount and resources in their transformation programs, especially within the digital, cloud, and big data space. They are generally quite open to hiring candidates from outside the industry as they believe this will lead to new thinking, innovation, and diverse expertise across technology.
We now have a YouTube channel in which our Principal Consultant Matt Chung offers tips and advice to candidates to help them prepare and do well during interviews. Please check that our here.
We spoke to Andy Farmer (CIO of Mox) about the future of Mox Bank and the journey he took in his career to reach the CIO role with them. Please let us know what you think of it!
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)