CAT | Careers
‘Here is the City’ recently wrote an article describing how the New York and Hong Kong financial services markets would outgrow London in four years. If this is the case, this has got to be some positive news for the Hong Kong financial services sector.
The key arguments are sound enough with the article citing internationalisation of the RMB, economic growth in China and a more favourable regulatory environment. However, I think it doesn’t really take into account the challenges that Hong Kong faces against the nearest financial hubs of Singapore and Shanghai, and therefore potentially, the article is solely ‘pinning the tail’ on Hong Kong as many similar arguments could be applied to these other regional hubs.
For example, the Singapore government has significant tax incentives to new employers building out in the region and a recent article suggested that 57% of global multinational companies would consider Singapore over Hong Kong as their regional headquarters, and this is bound to have an impact on the growth here in Hong Kong.
That being said, traditionally, Singapore was seen as a lower cost option as salaries and the cost of living plus corporation tax rates made it favourable. With the strength of the Singapore dollar and the weakness in the greenback, there are many arguments to say that this is now not the case and the cost of living in Hong Kong is on par or even lower than Singapore.
Shanghai will surely become a significantly more mature market in due course with the internationalisation of the RMB and the growth of the domestic banking market, and this too will challenge this statement.
Even so, a 3.5% growth in the total number of city-type jobs in Hong Kong by 2017 to an estimated 277,000 will undoubtedly be good for the financial services market and the regional economy. This is a good thing for financial professionals in the Hong Kong market and those looking to move to Asia for their next career opportunity! However, it will put a significant pressure on the talent pool and the ability for financial services organisations to attract and retain their employees.
Morgan McKinley’s Hong Kong 2013 Hiring Market Report is now available. It provides analysis of trends and forecasts based on our survey of employers. We surveyed over 700 hiring and operational managers across financial services, as well as commercial organisations in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific region to give you a valuable insight into hiring trends for 2013.
We have also carried out similar research across China and Singapore and have included some of those findings in comparison to our findings across Hong Kong to highlight the similarities and differences in perspective across these three markets.
Download a copy of the latest Morgan McKinley Hong Kong Hiring Market Report here
After the terrible shock of Hurricane Sandy the US seems to be getting back to normal. Certainly the Presidential election is filling many column inches in the western press, whilst the upcoming Chinese leadership change is filling practically none. It is a fascinating time to see how these two global economic powerhouses work through their choices for an uncertain future. Our COO, Richie Holliday discusses this further.
To read more, click here.
‘I started job hunting last week and I was introduced to a job opportunity through a recruiter. The whole process went very smoothly and I had breezed through the first and second round of interviews within a week. The following week, I was offered the job. I’m not sure if this is the best opportunity available in the jobs market and whether I will be able to ask for a higher salary in another company. Should I accept the offer or reject it and look around longer?’ he asked.
Some professionals may have experienced the same situation before, leaving them to feel that they may be missing out on other potential job opportunities in the market if they accept an offer at the early stages of job hunting. If you find yourself in a similar situation, ask yourself the following question before making the final decision:
“What are the top 3 most important criteria you need to consider before you accept an offer? Is it salary increment, company size, the location, the role itself, or even the chemistry with the boss?”
If the offer you have right now fulfills your top 3 criteria, than I believe this is a good opportunity and you should consider accepting it. You never know when the next one will come, and you may be losing out on a good opportunity which has appeared in front of you at the right time.
Job search is not measured by how long it takes or how many interviews you have gone through, but it is all about why you started the job search in the first place, and whether the offer in front of you can fulfill your expectations and requirements in order to lead you to your next career step.
The manner of the departure of striker, Robin Van Persie from Arsenal Football Club, did not endear him to every fan.
It was not so much his decision to leave but a public announcement in July and implied criticisms of the strategy of a team that was so supportive to him over many years. It is thought that he recently had a change of heart but his manager, Arsene Wenger informed him that he was no longer part of any plans for the club. Van Persie (who did have one good injury free season) might learn that he is not indispensable.
There are two things that Mr Van Persie should have avoided: Firstly, a public comment that suggested he disagreed with their strategy whilst he was still employed by them. Secondly, it appears that he made public his decision not to renew his contract before he was 100% sure about leaving. This is never a good idea. If you are looking for better pay or conditions, then have this discussion first.
Are you considering moving on from your current role? Be positive and proactive. Take time to discuss any concerns with your current employer and see if there could be a resolution. If, however, you have made your decision to leave, then do so with dignity. Take the time to resign, calmly, in person, show respect and have the courage to stick to your decision after having made it.
There is a lesson that Van Persie teaches us – how not to resign.
I have elected to dedicate this blog to ignore the endless tide of negative press stories and to post some positive news to share with you.
On the recruitment front:
- In June we took on more new job mandates from employers that we work with across Asia than we have done for 18 months
- In June we also had more requests from employers to interview professionals than we have done for 12 months
- Last month, the US saw 163,000 new jobs created – far more than analysts were expecting.
On the business front:
- Mario Draghi pledges to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save Euro… At last, a positive statement of intent regarding a crisis/long series of lunches by European bureaucrats, which seems to have been going on for several eons
- China’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hit a five-month high of 49.5 in July
- Investors are pouring into South-East Asian stock markets, with bourses in Manila, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok and Singapore all seeing double-digit rises this year
- Malaysia! Last month state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) announced the country’s largest ever outbound takeover. Add two very large (successful IPO’s), it now boasts three of the largest capital markets deals in Asia this year
- The Hang Seng index has increased 22% in value since October last year.
The bizarre, ridiculous and inspiring:
- In the US, ‘Pooh’ the Poodle saved her blind owners life, by smelling a gas leak and leading her out of her home
- In London, Dana Vollmer, beat the woman’s world record for the 100 meter butterfly on her way to Olympic gold. The fact that she overcome a potentially life threatening heart condition she was diagnosed with at the age of 15 en route to doing so is exactly the sort of thing Winnie the old British bulldog was talking about.
Our colleague John Winter from our Singapore office talks about lessons to be learnt from the London Olympic Games!
To read more, click here.
The best coffee shops are the ones where the staff knows your name and the barista knows your order the moment you walk into the store. They treasure your business and are happy (or pretend to be) when I shuffle in like a zombie every morning.
It takes the Starbucks barista at my local Starbucks 5 seconds to draw the smiley face on my coffee cup. This little bit of extra effort has far-reaching implications. Personally I am a coffee snob, there are ‘better’, cheaper and physically closer alternatives for me to choose, however over time with their effort unconsciously I will tend to choose their product over other choices. Their personalised touch will enhance my loyalty to them and I’m more likely to keep buying my coffee there.
There are examples of companies that put in extra effort in many service industries: restaurants that automatically know your details when you call for a return meal, or credit card companies that offer you special deals on your birthday. There are three laundromats within a 50m radius of my house, Raymond is not the cheapest (or the cleanest) but I always drop off my laundry at his shop as he will always says ‘Hello!’ and wave to me whenever I walk past his shop.
In our industry, people that put in that extra 2% of effort throughout the interview process will give themselves an edge over others, which is ever so important in this environment. Writing a thank you note after an interview or bringing up a recent company milestone in an interview should help you to stand out. The world IS small; if you aren’t successful in winning the job this time, there is a high chance you may work with that individual some time in the future or in another company if you’ve created a positive impression.
No matter what you do for work, when you boil it down those who are most successful are those that excel at building personal relationships. A little bit of effort goes a long way, those who put more effort into developing genuine and personalised relationships will differentiate themselves against their competitors.
Until next time!
Today is just like any other day; you get to work, make a cup of coffee and get on with your daily agenda. Suddenly your phone rings, on the other end of the line is someone named Jackson calling from a recruitment consultancy and he wants to talk to you about a certain job opportunity, mixed emotion comes in to play.
- You’re confused – Why are they calling me? How did they get my number?
- You’re nervous because you’re sitting in the office and it’s inconvenient to talk – what if my boss thinks I’m disloyal and that I’m job hunting behind his back?
- You’re curious because you want to know what this person has to offer – promotion opportunity? pay rise opportunity?
How do you react to this?
To quickly answer your questions, I’m going to explain the “behind-the scenes” of the headhunting world.
Headhunters are chosen by their clients because they are believed to be the best within their field and have a strong understanding of their requirements when a specific hire is required. With this in mind, they will use their expertise to identify who they believe would be a strong fit for the position. So if you’re getting a call, the headhunter must see a “X-factor” about you that matches to their clients’ needs, so keep an open mind and listen to what they have to offer.
If you’re in an open office and it is inconvenient to talk openly, then propose a time and give them your contact number. I am sure the headhunter will definitely give you a call back at the proposed time; otherwise they wouldn’t have made the effort to get in touch with you in the first place!
Finally, never feel confused or nervous when you receive a call from a headhunter, you should feel gallant that your work is being recognised as he/she believes that you have the experience or technical ability and is the person that their client is looking for.
Remember, a headhunter will never waste their time on you if they don’t think that you’re suitable for their role, so why not see whether they have something interesting to offer you?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo da Vinci
On Monday morning I clicked my inbox to be faced with 87 emails, the majority of which were from individuals seeking work.
One email had two attachments including a lengthy cover letter and an eight page CV that included an “executive summary” that was almost a page of A4. It took me some time to work out where this individual worked and which industry he was in. The CV included this person’s marital status, religion, children’s names and details of achievements at high school, over 20 years previously.
If you would like your job application to be successful, please keep it simple:
- Keep your CV to no more than two sides of A4
- Use correct spelling, grammar and plain language
- Your cover letter should be clear, brief and in the body of the email
- Summarise your experience and achievements in bullet point format
- AUA – Avoid Using Acronyms. These can betray ignorance not sophistication
- Please exclude irrelevant information including details of employment from many years back.
If you wish to be sophisticated – keep it simple. Remember the Da Vinci quote.