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Growth in Contracting Opportunities Across Banking and Financial Services

Ivy Kwan - 03/05/2018
banking & financial services market update

The past year has seen the trend for contracting recruitment in Hong Kong grow rapidly across banking, with positions readily available in finance, accounting and equity trade support. Driven by new regulations, compliance and remediation projects, mid- and back-office contracting roles to support projects in AML, KYC and compliance have been readily available. Now we are seeing the trend impact the IT sector. A volume of roles in tech, including business analyst, project manager and junior developer are hitting the recruitment market to support growth and development projects during a climate of headcount constraints. 

The most confident junior candidates have utilised contracting roles to join first tier banks – gaining exposure and experience within their organisation of choice to access temp to permanent opportunities. We are now seeing a shift in the general mindset of candidates away from the previous preference for permanent. Contracting certainly proves valuable where candidates lack previous experience for their desired role in a new field, or when they have been out of the market for family or personal reasons. Indeed, we have seen the market become more open to candidates with valid career gaps for contracting roles. Despite headcount freezes, urgent and development projects such as system implementation, transformation and remediation projects must go ahead. 

With the smaller candidate pool, hiring managers need to be conscious of the different criteria on which contract recruitment decisions are based. The fact that contracting roles can be filled within weeks is an attractive proposition to hiring managers when compared to the three-to-four-month lead time that permanent roles can stretch to. With a volume of conversions to permanent positions, the market is proving that one-year temporary positions can be converted when the headcount comes through. Our advice to candidates at the junior and mid- levels is to remain open minded to contracting roles where they present the opportunity to gain experience, stay relevant and keep options open.

Banking professionals are welcome to contact me to review current market contracting opportunities.

Manager | Contracting | Banking & Financial Services Recruitment
3907 3916
ikwan@morganmckinley.com.hk