Contracting Market Insights Q1 2017

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*

Commerce & Industry

Job title Years of experience Contract rate per hour (HK$)
Finance & Accounting
CFO  15+  820–1,400
Finance Director  1215  550870
Financial Controller  810 390470
Finance / Accounting Manager  610  270380
Financial Accountant  36 150250
Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable Accountant  Up to 8 years  80160
Management Accountant  3 165250
Senior Financial Analyst  6 260315
Financial Analyst  3 170260
Treasury Accountant  48 130300
Internal Auditor  3– 170280

​Business Support & Secretarial
Administration Manager   8+ 180240
Administration Assistant   3+ 140180
Executive Assistant / Personal Assistant   5+ 180280
Office Manager   5+ 180300
Secretary   3+ 140170
Receptionist   3+ 100120

Banking & Financial Services

Job title Years of experience Contract rate per hour (HK$)
Back Office
Internal Auditor  3 170280
Financial Controller  810  390470
Finance / Accounting Manager  610  270380
Financial Accountant  36 150250
Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable Accountant  Up to 8 years  80160
Management Accountant  3 165250
Senior Financial Analyst  6 260315
Financial Analyst  3 170260
Associate (Compliance) 3 200360
Analyst (Compliance) 48 170230
Associate (Product Control) 3 230300
Analyst  (Product Control) 48 165230

Middle Office  /  Operations 
Associate  (Settlements / Corporate Actions / Treasury)  3 190280
Analyst (Settlements / Corporate Actions / Treasury)  48 130220
Associate (Client On-Boarding / KYC Operations)  3 220280
Analyst (Client On-Boarding / KYC Operations)  48 140240
Associate  (Trade Support / Sales Support / Client Services) 3 230300
Analyst  (Trade Support / Sales Support / Client Services) 48 150240

Project Management
Vice President  8+ 530850
Assistant Vice President  68 400540
Associate  3 240360
Analyst  48 140250

​Business Support & Secretarial
Administration Manager   8+ 190250
Administration Assistant   24 150200
Executive Assistant / Personal Assistant   5+ 200320
Office Manager   8+ 200350
Secretary   3+ 150200
Receptionist   3+ 100130

#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:

  1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
  2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
  3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
  4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
  5. 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.
  6. Holiday entitlements range from 1225 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
  7. Healthcare policies are standard.
  8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 1520% of the base salary for senior executives.