Published on 18th January 2017
In recent years, we have seen a growing trend for temporary staffing by organisations. Businesses in Hong Kong are now more open to contracting solutions and professionals have begun to see the benefits of taking up contract positions.
In the light of stagnant economies of Hong Kong and China in 2016, where organisations hold a conservative view on permanent hiring for both replacement and newly created positions, temporary staffing provides a viable talent acquisition solution. Contract hiring can be a sensible and cost-efficient alternative to permanent hiring. Hiring managers have the opportunity to assess the performance and skillsets of contracted professionals before they are considered for a permanent role with the organisation.
An upward trend for contract hires in 2016
In the last two quarters of 2016, we observed an increase in hiring for junior transactional accounting staff as well as positive hiring activity for mid-level accounting professionals backfilling project positions. In addition, professionals with two to four years of billing and accounts receivable experience were also in demand across Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. Contracting needs for maternity cover have remained unchanged.
Due to tight budget and uncertainties in business growth as we move forward into 2017, we see a trend in contract work being extended. Professionals are staying on board longer instead of being converted into permanent staff.
Working mothers are looking to be contracted
In comparison to the last few years, we have seen an increasing trend of mothers with a wealth of accounting and management experience seeking for 3- to 6- month contract or part-time accounting positions. A large number of the contracted professionals were returnees from the US, Canada and the UK. Hiring managers are keen to hire contracting professionals due to minimal training, provision of valuable advice and are committed to their contract positions.
Within the financial services industry, in particularly, KYC projects, there is high demand for contract hiring for junior to mid-level positions. Talent acquisition for KYC, client on-boarding, AML and compliance testings has been challenging as organisations face a shortage of immediately available professionals in these areas. Project managers with insurance and local bank experience have also been in demand to support projects on operations, system upgrades and implementation.
Contracting will grow in 2017
Looking ahead in Q1, we foresee contracting needs will continue to grow in Hong Kong due to budget constraints for permanent headcount and available positions.
Job seekers need to look at how contracting can benefit their career aspirations. Contracting professionals can enjoy flexible work arrangements such as work-life balance, as well as have more exposure to various cultures, systems and industries. Being in a contractual role also gives individuals the opportunity to refine their skillsets.
Salary Report for Q1 2017*
#We recruit for a very diverse range of contracting roles. If you are interested in a role that is not listed above, please contact us directly.
*Notes about salary report:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Rachael Yeung