HK professionals with in-demand skills can expect a pay raise of 15 percent this year

In-demand skills include fintech, mobile development, big data, and cybersecurity, according to Robert Walters' survey.

By Nayela Deeba
Jan. 24, 2017

Given the complex global economic and monetary conditions and a slowing Chinese economy, companies in Hong Kong will stay cautious about hiring and salary levels will remain fairly static, according to Robert Walters' 18th edition of its Global Salary Survey.

Despite this bleak forecast, the fintech sector in Hong Kong is expected to grow exponentially. This growth will be fuelled by the rising demand for new innovative technology and cyber security, a by-product of the more stringent security regulations and stronger awareness in the market.

As such, there will be a high demand for talents skilled fintech, mobile development, e-commerce, big data and cyber security in the city-state this year.

The strong demand for IT professionals is also due to the increasing adoption of cloud technology and companies upgrading their tech infrastructure, according to Robert Walters.

In the legal/compliance sector, there is a growing need for lawyers to help companies in previously unchartered territory such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and mobile financing, which involve challenging regulatory matters across multijurisdictional platforms

Moreover, the launch of the Independent Insurance Authority will further stimulate the demand for hiring in the insurance sector in 2017. Since compliance issues such as anti-money laundering (AML), fraud and policy review remain the hot topics in the market, financial services firm will also require more staff with knowledge on China and SFC regulatory requirements across their internal surveillance and control functions.

As for sales and marketing, specialists with digital and e-commerce skills and general management experience will be the prime hiring targets in 2017 across various sectors, according to the survey findings.

The survey also revealed that companies of all sizes will look to recruit human resource (HR) specialists in compensation and benefits, talent acquisition and labour law, in order to retain their workforce.

"Overall, we anticipate salary levels to remain broadly flat for most industries in 2017. While better-qualified job movers can expect an increment of up to 15 percent, an increase for compliance specialists could be as high as 30 percent due to the acute shortage of candidates in the market," said Matthew Bennett, Managing Director - Greater China, Robert Walters.

"Hiring managers should also be aware of a shift in candidate priorities when recruiting in 2017. While in recent years jobseekers were more concerned about remuneration, specialist professionals are increasingly demanding a stimulating and open working environment, where communication and collaborative skills are highly valued," he advised.