The below article is from eFinancial Careers and features Karen Lau, Principal Consultant, Financial Services.
Strong growth in digital banking and private equity in Hong Kong is creating opportunities for talent looking for their next move. Karen Lau, principal consultant, financial services at ConnectedGroup, says the executive recruitment agency is currently seeing strong demand for finance and accounting professionals with the right skills and mindset.
In the digital banking space, she says companies are looking for finance professionals who are flexible, innovative and have an interest in new technology.
Banks are particularly interested in candidates from accounting backgrounds with a CPA qualification, who have strong project management skills or who have been involved in innovative system upgrades
Another area of growth in the financial services industry identified by Lau is within private equity, where firms are looking to fill middle and back office positions as firms continue to expand in Hong Kong, often supporting regional platforms.
Apart from the relevant technical skills, Lau said personality traits are one of the key things private equity companies consider when identifying talent.
“Most private equity firms have a flat structure, so every employee is very important to the success of the business,” she says.
Another trend that Lau has identified is an increase in contract positions for finance professionals.
“We are seeing more and more contract openings in the market right now,” she says.
She attributes the trend to the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and US-China trade tensions, which has caused many multinational institutions to tighten their headcounts and slow down their hiring processes.
As a result, she says hiring managers are meeting their human resources needs through recruiting contract staff, as it is easier to get approval for these positions in a short period of time.
Even so, she expects many contract staff to be able to renew their contracts or even become permanent employees if they perform well.
Lau adds that contracting can also be a good opportunity for people who need more flexibility, such as working mothers, and for fresh graduates who are unclear about their career direction and want to gain more industry knowledge and experience.
“For some people who would like to get back to the market after a career break, a contracting role can also be a good idea because it is much easier for them to pick up their skills and get back their working momentum,” she said.
Despite the current economic headwinds Hong Kong faces, Lau thinks it is still a good time to move job if candidates are looking for new challenges or experience.
She points out that as companies are currently very cost-conscious, it is not the best time to change role if you are looking for a large salary increment, but there are opportunities for people looking for broader job exposure, career development or a new platform in which to unleash their potential.
Lau encourages candidates who are interested in making a career move to get in touch with ConnectedGroup to talk about their career aspirations and find out more about the current market trends.
“Our team is on hand to help with any questions you may have and to give you advice,” she says.
To view Karen's profile, please visit here.