Hong Kong is Nearing a Fintech Talent Crisis

Hong Kong’s dreams to become a fintech powerhouse are in jeopardy. In the Fintech Employment 2019 report, published by Michael Page Hong Kong, 95% of fintech companies agreed that they are suffering a significant shortage of talent.

Optimistic about the employment opportunities fintech presents, Natalie Lau, managing consultant of Michael Page Hong Kong, said, "Hong Kong is one of the world's most influential and active financial centers in the region with its location at the intersection of China, Asia and the rest of the world. As such, it is only fitting that, in recent years, a broad and diverse fintech community has been established here."

The survey respondents saw fintech as a critical pillar of strength for Hong Kong's economic future. An overwhelming 91% of respondents see it as having a positive impact on the economy. Hong Kong's fintech ecosystem is also expected to grow significantly over the next three years. It will be driven by local regulators' efforts to attract fintech-related investments to the region.

Yet, companies are finding it hard to find fintech talent. Sixty-four percent of employers said it was challenging to find the right talent, while 47% said that the biggest obstacle is the lack of professional skills available.

Even if a company finds the right talent, keeping them is no easy task either. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed stated that they have switched jobs in the last 12 months.

“With that said, we expect to see a large and sustained increase in demand for talent. This is good news for professionals in the region, but it also has the potential to create a large talent gap, as there is currently a shortage within Hong Kong’s fintech community,” said Lau. 

Employers may be better served by looking at potential candidate motivation. According to the survey, a clear career path (24%), technological capabilities, and future adoption (23%), as well as company culture fit (19%), were key reasons why candidates join a fintech.

Also, 34% of those surveyed said that they expect their salary to rise between 12–20% when securing a new role.