The second half of 2017 has seen strong hiring activities, driven by a number of key factors, across the technology sector. Many organisations were embracing technology to make their business more efficient and drive productivity.
There has been a widespread adoption of disruptive and emerging technologies, and a significant increase in focus on innovation. Furthermore, the growth of the fintech sector and increase in hiring across the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong were also driving the demand for technology talent.
In H2 2017, we continued to see a huge demand for developers across all industry sectors. Demand for banking IT professionals with development skillsets has been extremely strong as banks grow their cash equities, derivatives, prime services and FICC desks in the region. Professionals skilled in Java, .NET/C# and C++, as well as Python, continued to be highly sought after.
Cybersecurity professionals were in demand
The introduction of the new China Cybersecurity Law in early 2017, and the plan to introduce GDPR at the start of 2018, have made IT security a hot topic throughout 2017.
In H2 2017, we saw high-profile hacking cases of banks and major multinational corporations hitting headlines around the world. Many organisations were looking to shore up their IT security and IT risk management practices. Expertise in cybersecurity continued to be highly sought after.
Technology contracting demand has been positive
Demand for contracting professionals, especially across the banking and technology sectors, has been high as these contractors were required to run projects. In the last six months of 2017, project managers, business transformation specialists, change management experts and contract programmers have all been in demand by banks, insurance companies and IT&T businesses.
Fintech continued to grow its presence
The fintech sector has been very active in hiring in H2 2017. Whilst China is no doubt the fintech superpower of the region, an increasing number of fintech companies have been growing their presence here in Hong Kong. Larger financial services firms were also forming their own fintech departments or adopting technologies to give them a competitive edge.
Demand for high-quality developers, project managers and business analysts (especially those with change management experience) in the fintech sector is expected to continue.
Customer journey has been the key
Throughout 2017, many larger banks and financial institutions focused heavily on the customer journey. Digital, Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) were all areas that saw continued growth. We saw high demand for data analysts, digital strategists and digital transformation professionals. These were people who helped to bring the banking industry back on track in embracing the "customer user experience".
Booming start-up community
The start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong has been booming in recent years and continues to evolve. Earlier in 2017, we launched the recruitment brand, HaTCH, exclusively for the start-up community. We have experienced a huge degree of interest on HaTCH, and it is interesting to know that there are high-calibre professionals who are looking to move into the start-up sector.
Companies which have been hiring include those focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), Sharing Economy, and e-commerce.
Expertise in Web, Mobile, Server-side Development, and Data Analytics have been and will continue to be in high demand.
Technology hiring outlook for the next six months of 2018
We expect an overall high demand for technology professionals in 2018, particularly as follows:
• Data scientists and analytics professionals to be in high demand throughout 2018
• Web and mobile have been evolving at a phenomenal rate, and we predict that React Native from Facebook will potentially be the next popular framework
• Project management, business transformation and change management expertise will continue to be highly sought after
• Cybersecurity professionals will be highly sought after
• We expect a high demand in blockchain and AI expertise throughout H1 2018, with these experts being hard to find
From a broader perspective, we would expect hiring trends to also evolve, as new disruptive technologies and dominant technology trends emerge. 2018 promises to be an exciting year for those who work in the Technology sector!
Salary Report for H1 2018*
Commerce & Industry
|Job title||Years of experience||Annual salary range (HK$)|
|Chief Information Officer||15+||1.5M–2.5M+|
|Chief Technology Officer||15+||1.3M–2.2M+|
|Senior IT Manager||10+||720K–840K|
|Program Manager / Director||12–15||800K–1.2M|
|Senior / Project Manager||10–15||480K–840K|
|Senior / Business Analyst||5–8||360K–720K|
|Pre / Post-sales Consultant||5–8||360K–600K|
|Solution / Applications / Systems Architect||12+||480K–950K|
|System / Application Development Manager||9+||480K–840K|
|Senior / Programmer||0–4||144K–288K|
|RDBMS Developer / DBA||4–10||200K–660K|
|Senior / Infrastructure Manager||8+||480K–800K|
|Infrastructure / Network Architect||10+||600K–1.2M|
|Infrastructure Analyst / System Specialist||6+||300K–420K|
|Senior / Network Engineer||4–7||360K–600K|
|Senior / System Engineer||2–5||280K–460K|
|Security Manager / Consultant||8+||600K–900K|
Database / Data Centre
|Senior / Database Administrator||5+||360K–480K|
|Data Warehousing / BI Specialist||7+||480K–600K|
|Data Centre Project Manager||12+||840K–1.2M|
|IT Support—1st Tier||0–3||180K–276K|
|IT Support—2nd Tier||2–5||204K–324K|
|IT Support—3rd Tier||5+||324K–396K|
|Senior / System Administrator||5+||288K–400K|
|Senior / Network Administrator||5+||360K–480K|
|Job title||Years of experience||Annual salary range (HK$)|
|Chief Information Officer (ED to MD)||15+||1.7M–2.7M+|
|Senior IT Manager||10+||750K–900K|
|Program Manager (VP to D)||15+||800K–1.5M|
|Senior Project Manager||10+||800K–1.2M|
|Senior Business Analyst||8–10||700K–1M|
|Application Development Manager||10–15||800K–1.2M|
|Lead Analyst Programmer||5–10||500K–800K|
|Architect—Applications, Solutions, Systems, Data (VP to SVP)||12–18||900K–1.4M|
|C++ / Java (Associate to VP)||6–15||500K–1.2M|
|.NET (Associate to VP)||6–15||500K–1.2M|
|RDBMS Developer / DBA||6–15||480K–850K|
Infrastructure / Network
|Infrastructure Director (ED to MD)||15+||1.5M–2.4M|
|Infrastructure Manager (SVP to ED)||10–15||900K–1.5M|
|Infrastructure Architect (VP to SVP)||6–15||700K–1M|
|Network Support (1st / 2nd Level)||3–5||360K–500K|
|Network Support (1st / 2nd Level)||1–3||240K–360K|
|3rd Level Support||5–10||350K–550K|
|Security Director (SVP to ED)||15+||900K–1.5M|
|Security Manager (VP to SVP)||8–15||700K–1M|
|Security Architect (VP to SVP)||4–8||700K–1M|
|Senior / Database Administrator||5–7||380K–500K|
|Data Warehousing / BI Specialist||7–10||600K–750K|
|Data Centre Project Manager||12–15||850K–1.3M|
|Helpdesk Analyst (1st Level)||1–3||220K–320K|
|Helpdesk Analyst (2nd Level)||3–5||350K–550K|
|Desktop Support Analyst (1st Level)||1–3||300K–400K|
|Desktop Support Analyst (2nd Level)||3–5||380K–500K|
|Desktop Support Analyst (3rd Level)||5–8||500K–620K|
|Trading Systems Support||6–15||450K–900K|
*Notes about salary table:
- 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.