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Local CFOs: We are losing the talent battle

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Local banks are notorious for their suffocating selling culture and extended working hours, making it a tough sell among job seekers despite being one of the biggest industries in Hong Kong.

The tough working environment is not only making local job seekers think twice about entering the industry but is also driving skilled expats away.

According to Robert Half survey, three out of four chief financial officers (CFOs) in Hong Kong are experiencing increased competition from overseas markets when trying to attract skilled candidates.

In terms of the scope of demand for skilled professionals sourced from overseas, more than two thirds (71%) of CFOs say they intend to source up to 10% of their workforce from foreign markets, with one in five (20%) anticipating they will be recruiting the most overseas talent from the United States and Canada.

Adam Johnston, managing director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “High calibre financial services professionals are increasingly embracing global career opportunities. As a consequence, companies are under pressure to compete with foreign markets in order to attract and retain the best talent.”

“Demand is especially strong for professionals with niche skills, particularly in compliance, security and risk management. The resulting skills shortage has further highlighted that Hong Kong are competing on a regional and even international scale to attract suitably skilled and qualified professionals, and recruitment methods should be adapted accordingly.”

The skills shortage is also having an impact on business operations. Three in four (75%) CFOs say the shortage is impacting their company’s departmental workloads, while 69% say it is impacting productivity and revenue.

“Companies can adopt a number of strategies to offset the impact of a skills shortage to attract and hold onto top performing employees. Already, a growing number of local businesses are offering attractive remuneration and expatriate packages to persuade financial services candidates domiciled offshore to make the move to Hong Kong.”

“Adopting flexible staffing arrangements such as hiring interim mangers with the necessary skills and experience to manage immediate projects is another cost-effective and highly productive option for Hong Kong businesses to navigate a talent shortfall. A longer term solution is to invest in the training and professional development of existing staff, which often delivered the additional benefit of improving staff retention,” Johnston said.

The study surveyed 100 chief financial officers (CFO) and finance directors in Hong Kong. It is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

ALSO READ: How banks are driving talent away

Photo/ 123RF

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