Similar to other sectors, Accounting & Finance was off to a slow start due to the Chinese New Year holidays. Low consumer confidence saw most companies being more cautious with carrying out their hiring plans.
Despite low confidence in spending, certain industries such as Professional Services, Information Technology, Property and Consumer products continued their growth plans and kept their hiring activities high. Despite the taboo of lengthy processes, we saw a trend of companies spending more time, effort, and involving more stakeholders in the interview process to identify the best talent. Job seekers were cautious overall and factors such as company culture, career development, and work-life balance were of even more importance to candidates before accepting a job offer.
Low consumer confidence saw employers being more cautious with their money, and this created an increased demand for candidates with Financial Planning & Analysis, and Tax & Treasury/Cash Management skills to strengthen their financial health.
While the demand for candidates with local language skills, strong technical ability and the relevant qualifications remained high, employers put increasing weight on soft skills such as business acumen and stakeholder management. Candidates who possessed a combination of these skills were highly sought after but many employers faced challenges in finding and attracting such talent. Moreover, companies were not willing to lose these candidates and this has led to increased frequency of candidates being bought back and retained.
Amid a slow start at the beginning of the year, we expect that hiring activities will continue to rise as companies look to increase their headcount in H2 2017.
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