While technical accountancy and finance talent is in demand in the financial services industry, it is the soft skills that increasingly appear on an employer’s job specification, according to the latest Hays Quarterly Report.
“Hiring managers in Hong Kong are looking for accountants with more than just a college degree and solid technical knowledge. Candidates need soft skills such as the ability to persuade and influence, and the talent to explain challenging concepts in easy-to- understand terms for a non-specialist audience,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.
Topping the list of jobs in demand in financial services are Regulatory Reporting Analysts, Financial Regulatory Reporting Managers, Financial Controllers, Financial Analysts and Tax Managers.
“Employers are seeking employees with leadership potential and the ability to work well in a variety of different environments with a diverse range of colleagues and executives,” says Wright. “Soft skills could even determine whether a potential hire succeeds or not.”
According to Hays, candidates with strategic ability who are able to look beyond the numbers and see how businesses can be impacted by broader business trends are becoming increasingly sought after.
Also, those candidates with international exposure who have gained experience working or studying abroad are highly regarded by employers as they can offer insights into different ways of doing business.
The recruiter says there is also an increasing need for candidates with both written and spoken Chinese language skills due to the growing number of roles available within Chinese financial institutions.
“In the commercial sector Financial Planning & Analysis Managers are sought as companies need professionals who can adapt to fast changing environments and possess strong analytical, interpersonal and communication skills,” says Christine.
Internal Auditors are also in demand across local, regional and international banks. They continue to recruit for treasury and markets audit due to the complexity of products.
“Meanwhile new permanent positions are being created by organisations that are regionally headquartered in Hong Kong,” says Wright. “Demand is strongest in the retail, property and technology sectors.”