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The latest fintech employment trends for Hong Kong and China

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Given Hong Kong’s status as one of Asia’s prime financial centres – and the rapid rise of fintech – it’s essential for the city to effectively attract and manage fintech talent.

That’s the key takeaway from the latest report on fintech employment trends in Greater China, just released by Michael Page.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed (64%) said they found the talent recruitment process in fintech challenging.

Other key findings from the report were that 95% of companies surveyed said the fintech sector was in need of talent, 34% believed the biggest opportunities revolved around cashless transactions, and 44% identified cybersecurity as the biggest threat to the sector.

Fintech was also found to be a predominantly young person’s field, with 42% of those working in the fintech sector aged between 25 to 35.

“Hong Kong’s fintech ecosystem is expected to grow significantly in the next three years. This will be spurred by initiatives from Hong Kong’s regulators ramping up efforts to attract fintech investments into the region. With this growth, we will see a large and sustained increase in demand for talent,” said Natalie Lau, a managing consultant at Michael Page Hong Kong.

“This is good news for professionals in the region, but has the potential to create a large talent gap, as there is currently a talent shortage within fintech in Hong Kong that is set to increase as the industry grows.”

Hong Kong’s three most in-demand fintech roles are in big data (46%), fintech compliance (11%) and information security (11%).

The three most sought-after benefits are flexible working hours, medical benefits and additional training and development courses.

The report also added a note of caution on the “challenge of newness”, stating that: “The Hong Kong market has taken too long to adopt the emerging technologies. Therefore, professionals lack the exposure and academic training for emerging technologies or banking operations.”

In China, there was a fairly similar picture – with a few notable exceptions.

Lack of talent was again identified as a key issue, with 92% of companies interviewed seeing it as a key stumbling block.

However, the top three in-demand fintech roles in China are big data (40%), artificial intelligence (32%) and risk management (12%). While the age demographic is even more firmly skewed than Hong Kong, with 63% of the workforce aged between 25 and 35.

“In China, in particular, you can see the adoption of fintech products and services everywhere,” said Rupert Forster, managing director of Michael Page North and East China.

“In fintech, we see a growing gap between in-demand skills on one hand, and the supply of industry-leading talent on the other. The prospect of addressing this gap was a key motivation for holding our customer survey of fintech workers and team leaders.”

Infographics courtesy of Michael Page.

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