Survey: Hong Kong CFOs from financial services to manage disruptions by upskilling employees

Nearly half (44%) of CFOs from the financial services sector plan to upskill their existing employees and 35% are planning to hire new staff to manage change and disruption in 2018, said Robert Half which recently released results of a survey of 75 CFOs within financial services conducted in December 2017 in Hong Kong.

When asked what are the top disruptive forces that will change the financial services industry in 2018, more than six in 10 (61%) Hong Kong financial services leaders refer to macro-economic conditions, followed by technological change (52%) and new regulations (52%), survey results indicate.

Besides upskilling and hiring, partnering with other businesses such as digital agencies (31% of respondents) and increasing business investments (29%) are ways CFOs from Hong Kong’s financial services sector adopt to manage disruptions.

Financial services disruption in 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, financial services leaders predict technology will have more of an impact as just under two-thirds (61%) say the pace of technological innovation – such as automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics – will be the most disruptive force in the market by 2023, followed by new regulation (56%) and macro-economic conditions (53%), said Robert Half.

CFOs confident in staff's level of competence

Confronted with disruptive forces in the industry, the majority of Hong Kong’s financial services leaders are confident in their staff’s level of competence to adapt and be successful during this change, Robert Half noted.

For technical skills, 92% are confident in their graduate-level, 89% are confident in their staff-level and 99% are confident in their management-level employees, according to survey results.

For soft skills, 95% are confident in their graduate-level skillset, 95% are confident in their staff-level and 97% are confident in their management-level employees, survey results indicate.

“For financial services professionals ambitious to grow their career and remain in-demand in the market, it is essential to not only upskill their technical capabilities, but also to continuously develop their soft skills, such as leadership, communication and interpersonal skills,” Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong advised.