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IT pros hiring heats up in Hong Kong (Part 1)

Sheila Lam | March 6, 2012
Despite uncertainty in the Eurozone and rumors of layoffs, 64 percent of IT executives still plan to hire within the year

Fewer IT executives (29%) indicated that lack of budget is a problem in hiring, thus suggesting IT functions are more valued within enterprises, thus providing more resources. The problem, however, is the general lack of IT talent in the market. 61% of IT executives found too few candidates available in the market in 2012, as compared to 44% in 2009. Lack of supply in IT talent is also likely the reason for an interesting stat: more IT executives found candidates too demanding this year, with 23% of respondents indicating so, compared to only 10% in 2009.

Retaining talents as KPIs

Shortage of talent is found not only in the IT sector, but across all industries, according the latest Hudson Report Hong Kong. The report indicates retaining talent has become so significant to success at many local enterprises that it has become a critical factor for managerial hires.

Hudson interviewed 500 local executives across all industries in December 2011--58% stated that retaining talented staff is a factor influencing base salary for managerial hires. That's closely followed by their ability to attract candidates in areas with skill shortages (51%). The Hudson Report indicates skills for talent retention have become more critical for executives than containing cost (26%) and meeting KPIs or budget targets (28%).

While IT executives are building teams strong in both technical and communication skills, the IT executives themselves may also need to enhance their soft skills in personnel and team building. "Communication skills are increasingly valued as IT professionals need to convey messages to their team members, bosses and external stakeholders," Chin concluded.

CWHK Survey: Stability in IT recruitment

According to the Computerworld Hong Kong IT Skills and Hiring Trends 2012 Survey, about 1/3 of IT professionals indicated less than 5% staff turnover within their team in the last 12 months.

The study, which surveyed 230 local IT professionals in January 2012, shows a majority of the respondents (52%) stated IT staff turnover was between 5%-20% in 2011 and only 15% experienced a turnover of over 20%.

The stable IT recruitment market could be attributed to the intense hiring activities of 2010, noted Evan Chin, manager of IT commerce division at Robert Walters Hong Kong. "We saw constant recruitment activity throughout 2011, although hiring levels were not as high overall as in 2010," he said.

A roller-coaster year for finance

Chin noted the trend is more obvious in the banking sector, where the recovering financial market drove strong hiring in 2010, but restrained in the first half of 2011. "Overall, hiring volumes were lower in 2011 than 2010, as market sentiment across the financial services sector became more cautious," he said.


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