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Where will the jobs be in 2016?

Updated: 26 Jan 2016

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CFOs, IT digital managers and business development managers are just three areas of staffing demand that recruiting expert Hays says will remain in high demand in China throughout 2016. 

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand, in 2016 such highly-skilled locals will be able to advance their career.    

The January to March quarter is traditionally a peak recruitment season for many industries and we will see vacancy activity increase, with the majority of employers reviewing their headcount and planning their New Year recruitment schedule,” says Simon Lance, Managing Director of Hays in China.   

“Banks and other financial services organisations, educational institutions, fast-growing small and medium enterprises and start-up companies and IT organisations are among those that have active hiring needs this quarter.   

“We are especially seeing strong hiring demand from SMEs and start-up companies that are growing rapidly and creating new roles in response to their business success.   

“Even the oil & gas, legal, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries have some demand for highly-skilled professionals this quarter,” he said.  

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, the following skills are some of those in demand in 2016: 

Accountancy & Finance:

·         CFO candidates with previous successful IPO experience and overseas capital operations experience are sought in start-up companies that plan to go public. Often employers are looking for mature candidates with ready skills, rather than high potential candidates who have zero IPO experience.

·         As some fast-growing SMEs and start-ups look to regularize their accounting & finance processes in accordance with mature MNCs, financial planning & analysis managers with previous track records in MNCs are in demand too.  

Banking & Financial Services:

·         Financial service sales professionals are sought, especially from asset management companies and security firms due to their high turnover rate and active business expansion strategy. These employers look for candidates who have a good client foundation in the local market, along with financial or banking market knowledge.

·         Anti-money laundering experts are another area of great demand in both branches and operation hubs. 


·         Admissions counsellors, education advisers and school representatives are sought. With an increasing number of younger Chinese studying overseas, study-abroad agencies and international education organisations in China are hiring these candidates to help promote their schools in the local market.

·         In addition, local schools and education organisations, as well as industry corporations, have been investing in their own international bilingual schools locally. This is creating demand for head of academics, school principals, marketing & admission executives and teachers who understand how to operate and manage a culturally mixed school. 

Information Technology:

·         IT digital managers are in high demand. With the majority of MNCs looking for digital solutions to increase their brand awareness or sales revenue, these candidates are in for a bright future.

·         We are also seeing high demand for security managers. This role has become very important in every company nowadays because of Cloud and other online applications, and also because these solutions carry a lot of company data. 


·         Lawyers with strong communication and influencing skills remain in high demand.

·         Legal & compliance professionals able to lead compliance programs are also in demand. We are seeing an increasing reliance by companies on legal talent to provide compliance training and oversee relevant investigations, so as to be in line with regulatory requirements of local and overseas regulations. 

Life Sciences:

·         Experienced CRAs are in demand both at global companies and local firms. Meanwhile to save costs, many pharmaceutical companies have decided to outsource their projects to CRO firms, so quality professionals are needed.

·         Biostatisticians are also in high demand.  

Manufacturing & Operations:

·         We are seeing high demand for experienced change management candidates for the positions of plant manager and/or operation director.

·         We are also seeing demand for strategy managers.  

Oil & Gas:

·         Experienced business development managers, LNG process engineers and project managers are needed. Employers tend to pay high salary to attract professionals with strong LNG exposure in their careers. 

Sales & Marketing

·         Social media planners are sought. Media content is a focus for many companies that are undergoing a digital makeover to improve their websites and their content for best SEO practice. Organisations are increasingly realizing that content is essential to engage customers across all digital platforms, share quality messaging and create communities across social channels.

·         Business development managers are also in high demand since they help boost an organisation’s client portfolio. In the FMCG/business services industry, employers want BDMs who are well networked with dealers/channels and key corporate accounts in order to target upcoming projects.  

To see the full list of skills in demand and trends for your industry, please visit  

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. 

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people. 

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About Hays

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 eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, 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. As at 30 June 2015 Hays employed 9,023 staff operating from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015, Hays reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million. Hays placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments. 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.  


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