A Rapid Technological Development Set to Reshape the 2019 Employment Landscape

Robert Walters, a global specialist professional recruitment consultancy, today released its annual Salary Survey (“the Report”), marking its 20th year of publication. The Report provides a detailed analysis as well as a comprehensive overview of the job market opportunities and trends set for 2019. Technology and digitalisation are expected to continue to drive growth across multiple industries with the salary level remaining broadly the same as in 2018. Overall, job movers can anticipate an average of 10-20% salary increment, while those with niche skills in technology-driven sectors may expect an increase of up to 30%.

In 2018, Hong Kong job market yet again demonstrated a robust performance with the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level in the past 20 years. Recruitment demand is expected to expand further in 2019, stemming from key growth drivers including the acceleration of technological development, digitalisation and government initiatives to promote and support innovation and technology.

With technology and digitalisation continuing to rise across multiple industries, businesses focus on improving efficiency through technology integration, leading to a higher demand for technology-savvy talent. As blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), e-commerce and digital marketing are integrated into business operations, professionals with expertise in these areas are highly sought after. In addition, the growth in demand for specialists in emerging technology such as cyber security, AI, data analytics and machine learning, is expected to continue in 2019 and beyond.

In 2018, Hong Kong’s financial services industry demonstrated a remarkable progress in fintech development - from the launch of the faster payment system to virtual banking licence applications. The rapid development of fintech backed by the Hong Kong SAR government, has spurred hiring of specialists in blockchain technology, big data, machine learning, AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and research & development across multiple industries and functions. Job movers in the financial services industry can expect a salary increment of 15-20% next year and up to 25% for those with specialist skill sets. 

The legal and compliance industry is expected to be in the spotlight in the coming year on the back of the fast-moving regulatory environment and growing financial industry. A relatively new market entrance of fintech and its rapid evolvement have led to a shortage of legal and compliance talent. Therefore, we envisage a high demand for legal professionals with regulatory experience in mobile payment, virtual banking, and cryptocurrency. Foreign and Chinese banks are also on a hiring spree as they strengthen their footprint in Hong Kong. Their ever-increasing demand for Chinese-speaking global market compliance professionals and lawyers has led to a scarcity of talent for years.

The supply chain, logistics and procurement sectors also proved to be affected by the digital transformation and the rise of e-commerce. Whilst some logistics and distribution companies are setting up smaller regional distribution centres to facilitate faster delivery, others are embracing 3D printing to streamline supply chain management. With an increased adoption of emerging technologies, we anticipate companies evolving towards a more advisory and consulting capacity, such as fourth-party logistics (4PL) or supply chain integrators, which in turn, drive the demand for technology-savvy supply chain professionals.

Contracting gained further traction in 2018. We saw a steady uptake in contracting positions with senior professionals and technical specialists hired to run projects. Tech professionals were also more open to contracting in order to broaden their project exposure and to enjoy better pay and job flexibility. It is expected that this trend will continue in 2019.

Matthew Bennett, Managing Director, Greater China of Robert Walters, comments:

“We expect technology and innovation will continue to drive growth in Hong Kong’s job market in 2019. More and more jobseekers are upgrading their professional abilities to meet a growing market demand for specialists with technology skill sets. Employee retention has become one of the key priorities in a candidate short market. Employers are advised to upscale talent retention means as salary is no longer the only factor in career decisions. Benefits, work-life balance and overall work culture are equally important in determining job satisfaction.”


Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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