Skilled staff demand rising as China’s infrastructure project kicks in.

Salaries rising.

China’s Belt and Road initiative is driving demand for skilled staff according to the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide. The company has seen headcounts increase within finance teams across Hong Kong with the increased business investment across the city-state driving particular demand for finance managers and accountants.

Amidst this recruitment drive, finance employers still battle an ongoing skills shortage within the sector. In fact, independent Robert Half research has found just under three-quarters (72 per cent) of Hong Kong CFOs currently find it challenging to source qualified finance professionals, with the number rising to 75 per cent who predict it will become even more challenging in the coming five years.

“Wage growth within Hong Kong’s financial sector has remained stable over the past 12 months, with salary increments mainly awarded to compensate for inflation,” said Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong. “Chinese firms, in comparison to foreign companies, are one of the driving forces behind stable wage growth in the sector as they are behind active demand for entry-level financial professionals. This is partly caused by onshoring, where more companies are looking for quality local talent to fill these entry-level positions. Combined with the Belt and Road initiative that is spurring business investment and rising headcounts in Hong Kong, we expect continued demand for entry-level and value-add positions across the financial sector over the next 12 months.

“While attractive salary and benefits packages remain crucial for Hong Kong’s financial employers to attract and retain top talent, training and development are also vital for hiring managers to win the ongoing war for talent,” he adds. “As traditional roles within finance become increasingly digitally-focused, companies need to identify opportunities to upskill their existing employees to prepare for a digital future.”

Robert Half has identified the top three financial positions in demand in Hong Kong for 2019 and matched them with the job titles and their respective salaries as published in the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide:

 

  1. Finance Manager
Salary range
Minimum Maximum
Small/medium company $480,000 $600,000
Large company $600,000 $720,000

Source: Robert Half Salary Guide

 

Financial professionals who can navigate an increasingly complex business market are currently in high demand, and finance managers who can guide companies through volatile and changing business landscapes and digitised workplaces find themselves highly sought-after. Compounding this demand, more than one quarter (27 per cent) of CFOs say finance management is the key area within the sector most difficult to source skilled candidates.

 

  1. Finance Accountant
Salary range
Minimum Maximum
Small/medium company $291,000 $387,000
Large company $324,000 $431,000

Source: Robert Half Salary Guide

 

Despite the changing landscape of the financial sector with new technologies impacting the workplace, the “nuts and bolts” aspect of any company remains the same which is why finance accountants with a proven track-record of successfully running accounting and financial activities, providing sound economic analysis and interdepartmental financial updates are highly sought-after. However, almost three in 10 (29 per cent) CFOs find it challenging to source qualified candidates within this area.

 

  1. Financial Planning & Analysis Manager
Salary range
Minimum Maximum
Small/medium company $410,000 $720,000
Large company $600,000 $960,000

Source: Robert Half Salary Guide

 

Financial planning and analysis managers are in high demand in a digitised workplace as they are in a good position to make well-informed commercial decisions. However, the skills shortage continues with more than one in four (28 per cent) CFOs finding it challenging to source skilled candidates within this area. Professionals with a heightened sense of awareness for how digitisation is changing the face of organisations, and who can forecast how revenue and expenditures will be impacted due to new technologies will be in high demand throughout 2019.

 

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