Despite the economic slowdown, the demand for finance talent still exceeds supply in China. It is still a very tight market and pretty competitive, as per Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China, the leading specialist recruitment group.
“There’s still very strong demand for finance talent among multinationals and domestic companies,” says Simon. “Globally most multinationals are under increasing cost pressure, so the financial management of their businesses in China is becoming a real global priority. As for domestic companies that have gone through their rapid set-up and establishment phase and are now moving into consolidating their business and then expanding, they need to introduce systems and structures. You do start to see a stronger financial team and a stronger financial management structure.
Looking at senior management or senior technical candidates, such as CFOs, controllers, treasurers, FP&A, finance managers and cost managers, Hays notes there is still a pretty acute skills shortage. “For example, demand for some of the mergers and acquisitions candidates and in investment banking is starting to pick up again now,” says Simon. “But we find the skill set that companies are looking for at that level is still pretty hard to find. It’s usually a combination of the technical skills and also the soft cultural skills, as well as language and quite often the people management skills or the alignment with the company’s cultural values. That’s still a fairly small pool here in China.”
According to Hays, most employers prefer Chinese local candidates, but due to the small talent pool they will consider expats from Hong Kong and Singapore. Simon believes industries themselves have a role to play through management development programs. “Employers need to invest in their staff rather than look for someone that already has that background,” he said. “International postings for Chinese staff will broaden their skills development and grow the local talent pool.”
Simon added “Currently, people are looking for the perfect short-term solution. Their preference and the need is to find someone that already has the required skill set. However, China’s recruitment market needs to be more patient. I think in the next five years the companies that have good development programs will do better.”
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Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.
Hays Specialist Recruitment (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s specialism span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.
Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company with more than 7,800 staff operating from 239 offices across 33 countries.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.