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Despite an overall softening job market and a spike in the jobless figures to the ongoing impact of the pandemic in Hong Kong, some sectors continue to thrive – with demand strongest in the fintech sector.

This was according to a just-published paper Salary Watch 2020 by RGF International Recruitment, drawing on a database of 114,000 candidates in Greater China from February 2019 to February 2020.

“In Hong Kong, there is increased demand – and competition – for skilled tech talent, especially in the realms of fintech and cyber security. This is in part due to the rise in adoption of AI worldwide and the increased desire for secure products that customers can use on-the-go,” the report states.

With the continued rise of the gig economy, businesses in Hong Kong are looking to bolster their stock – while remaining flexibility – with contract work, temporary employees and freelancers.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected the job market in Hong Kong – the unemployment rate will likely go up, and it is expected that most companies will implement short-term hiring freezes,” said Jessica Lau, managing director of Bó Lè Associates Hong Kong.

“This downturn in the job market has prompted jobseekers to be more flexible regarding salary expectations, especially those who are between jobs.

“Because so many businesses are digitising, there is a particular need for candidates with technical skills and experience in digital transformation, application development and software development. Additionally, the financial services sector is keen to fill cyber security roles,” she added

Soft skills and sales also in demand
In light of ongoing political and economic instability in addition to regulation changes, companies in Hong Kong are facing major hurdles, including the need reshuffle talent to make the best use of employees’ time and abilities.

According to the report: “Most companies are looking for talent with soft skills such as adaptability and agility, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, the desire to work cross-functionally and the willingness to upskill – especially in the realm of digital skills – to curate a workforce that can withstand the changes digitisation and automation are bringing.”

The job market in Hong Kong is also seeing relatively strong demand for talent that can fill sales, marketing, application engineering and development, in addition to the aforementioned digitalisation roles.