Hong Kong, Singapore Short of Finance Professionals

According to the latest Robert Half Workplace Survey, a net 30% of Hong Kong employers are looking to increase full-time staff in finance, accounting or banking in the second half of 2011. But finding the professionals to fill those roles may be easier said than done: A majority, (90%), of employers in the Asia Pacific are struggling to find skilled finance professionals in the current market.


Hong Kong and Singapore are finding it the hardest in the region with 93% and 97% of employers respectively claiming that it is challenging to find skilled finance professionals.


The main reasons cited by Hong Kong employers for increasing staff are to fuel business expansion (56%) and ease the workload of existing staff (53%).


Hong Kong employers are having the most difficulty finding skilled professionals in the areas of finance (30%) and compliance (24%), up 11% and 8% respectively year over year. To help address these talent shortages, Hong Kong hiring managers are trying to build the skill sets within their own team (48%) and promoting from within (47%).


“A focus on staff training and development not only allows companies to build the skill sets of their current teams but also may improve retention rates, since employees appreciate the opportunity to acquire new skills and take on different challenges,” says Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong.


Other ways companies in Hong Kong are coping with the talent shortage include turning to recruitment firms (37%), increasing financial incentives, like salaries and bonuses (35%), and offering staff incentives for recommendations and referrals (30%) in order to attract and retain the best talent.


The survey also reveals that the majority (88%) of Hong Kong employers are concerned about losing top financial performers to other job opportunities in the next year. This is well above the regional average of 76% according to the survey.


“Employers’ fear of losing top performers is a valid one, as 45% of finance professionals surveyed in Hong Kong admitted that they plan to seek employment or a promotion with a new company in the next two years,” says Anand.





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