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View Profile’s latest recruitment insights and reports on the talent landscape across our key markets - Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing.

INSIGHTS

As thought leaders, we provide you with meaningful insights and strategic research on your relevant markets. 

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Profile Event: Building Change-Ready Teams

Profile was delighted to have Rob Morris, YSC Consulting's Chief Innovation Officer, visiting from New York to host back-to-back events in Singapore and Hong Kong on the topic of 'Building Change-Ready Teams’. Rob outlined the principles for building modern teams and designing them to operate like a network. He discussed how the challenges of constant change can be countered in organisations to build a climate that promotes collaboration, smart risk-taking and equal contribution - the building blocks of change-ready teams. Co-hosted with YSC, our Breakfast Seminar and Roundtable Lunch events were held on Wednesday, 6th June 2018 at the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) and the Tower Club in Singapore, and on Thursday, 7th June 2018 at the China Club in Hong Kong. Feedback from selected professionals in attendance was extremely positive, with many expressing that the presentation was both informative and inspiring. We look forward to Rob delivering on this topic at our Shanghai events in September. The above video contains highlights from our 'Building Change-Ready Teams' Breakfast Seminar in Hong Kong, which was held at the China Club in June. ABOUT ROB MORRIS Rob draws on more than twenty years’ experience leading, consulting with, and studying organisations to develop YSC’s innovation strategy. A seasoned leadership strategy consultant and published expert in the executive development arena, he works closely with leaders of Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies in the areas of CEO succession and coaching, executive team alignment, and organisation change. Currently based out of New York, he has worked in more than twenty countries and across a range of industries. Rob holds a PhD in Social-Organisational Psychology from Columbia University, where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor, and a BSc in Leadership Studies from the United States Military Academy, West Point. ABOUT YSC Founded in 1990, YSC are a leadership consulting firm, comprised primarily of consultants with backgrounds in psychology and the behavioural sciences, working with organisations to unlock the power of their people. They have over 100 consultants operating from 20 international YSC offices. ​To learn more about YSC, please visit http://www.ysc.com.
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Profile News: Artificial intelligence at work - Is senior leadership ready for change?

The Human Resources Online article, 'Artificial intelligence at work: Is senior leadership ready for change?’, discusses key findings from our ‘Working in Asia’ 2018 report. The article is extracted below. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AT WORK: IS SENIOR LEADERSHIP READY FOR CHANGE? One-third of managers across Singapore (37%), Hong Kong (36%), and China (32%) are fairly on-the-fence about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) at the workplace – saying it will create and destroy roughly an equal numbers of jobs. This data was unveiled at the launch of research by Roffey Park and Profile Search & Selection, titled Workplace in Asia: Key HR and leadership priorities for 2018, attended by Human Resources. It features views from managers and non-managers across Singapore (1,064), Hong Kong (584), and mainland China (283). Unfortunately, more than half of managers in all three regions do not think their organisations currently have the skills and expertise to take advantage of AI (56%, 55%, and 51% respectively - see below). The common thread in the research comments on this aspect is around senior leaders recognising AI as an opportunity; however the gap exists between this recognition and being able to take action and make full use of those opportunities. Seen here is Alex Swarbrick, regional director of Roffey Park Asia Pacific: Another aspect of preparedness surveyed was diversity, where an overwhelming majority in the three regions surveyed (79%, 85%, 81%) agreed that their organisation is accepting of differences. Over three in five respondents also believed their organisation is effective at attracting, recruiting and retaining individuals from diverse backgrounds. Respondents were also relatively more confident in managers becoming more skilled at working with people from diverse backgrounds compared to a year ago. However, save for mainland China (57%), fewer than half of managers across Singapore (46%) and Hong Kong (42%) agreed that their senior leadership team has sufficient diversity. Additionally, when the survey was first launched in 2014 in Singapore, HR managers deemed diversity and multi-generational issues not as important at that time. But they thought that it will become more pertinent in five years. Standing at almost the five-year mark today, the data suggests that HR managers think it’s still a concern for the future: ​ To view the original article, please click here.
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Spotlight on China - Asset Management Outlook 2018

The scope of this document is to share our thoughts on China’s current asset management landscape, the impact of the high level of activity in the WFOE space and the potential opportunities and challenges for global players from a human capital perspective. Given this is a sector where changes happen quickly, it is important to note that the factual content is based on market research from public sources as of mid-April 2018, plus our first-hand experience in dealing directly with many asset managers and candidates in China over the past eight years of operating onshore. China is the core of our focus, now with half our business based in Beijing and Shanghai. A HUMAN CAPITAL CONUNDRUM FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSET MANAGERS Asset management opportunities continue to dominate conversations with industry practitioners in China across the front, middle and back offices. We see this first-hand, being engaged in an increasing number of searches for international asset managers as they vie for more access onshore and look to launch private fund products. The focus of global players on China is understandable. For example, the domestic private fund industry, including both wealthy individuals and institutional investors, tripled in size in 2017 to hit RMB 30.9 trillion (USD 4.74 trillion), according to the Asset Management Association of China. Yet what this race also brings, without exception, is a dilemma common for businesses: how to attract, hire and retain the right individuals to capitalise on this unprecedented opportunity. There is no quick or easy answer. Inevitably, it depends on individual ambitions, patience and depth of resources at each firm. Plus, it is too early for any kind of roadmap or tried-and-tested approach to provide a benchmark or model for a successful wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE). We are on a voyage of discovery, and flexibility is key to long-term success. Finding answers is further complicated by the fact that most firms are at different stages of the lifecycle. At the same time, the asset management landscape is still evolving, from a regulatory as well as a product perspective. The only consistent theme, it seems, is an ever-tighter squeeze on an already-shallow talent pool. ​ This all makes the careful and strategic planning around human capital a critical success factor for global asset managers as China’s domestic landscape develops and evolves. ACTIVITY LEVELS The information provided below is current as of 9th April 2018 and is subject to change. It is for your general information only and is not intended as legal advice. Data source: Asset Management Association of China (AMAC). The numbers speak for themselves in terms of the pace of foreign asset managers entering the market: 27 foreign asset managers have set up WFOEs since September 2015 – 17 of which have been done since the start of 2017 11 global asset managers have secured private fund management (PFM) licences 6 of these asset managers with PFM licences have launched onshore private fund products PFM funds launched to date ​ Tracking the onshore flow to China ACQUIRING THE RIGHT TALENT We share the excitement and commitment that the world’s asset managers are showing to China, based on this “moment in time” for the industry. And, as the market’s potential continues to unfold, we predict that it will represent the single-largest human capital opportunity – and challenge – over the next five years. At the same time, we also share the appreciation of foreign asset managers of the complexities and challenges in navigating the market. Regulatory clarity is one of the key issues that foreign asset managers face, despite the easing ownership limits more broadly on foreign joint ventures across asset management, life insurance and securities. Other considerations relate to asset managers making a call on when – and how quickly – to grow their business. This includes the best route for launching their funds, as well as the best approach to take to fill the talent gaps that exist, and develop sufficient human capital. The pace at which foreign managers are actively hiring talent to fully implement their China growth strategy is different from firm to firm. However, the length of time a firm has had a WFOE does not always necessarily dictate how aggressive they are about ramping up their headcount in China. In fact, some asset managers are being deliberately cautious about the speed at which they grow. They are slowly adding firepower even though they might have more of a track-record onshore. Conversely, we are seeing some of the asset managers that are ‘newer’ to the market, with more recently-established WFOEs, looking to make a quick impact. They view a team of any less than 10 individuals who focus on investments, clients and relationship management as lacking in manpower and expertise to effectively run a successful WFOE to manage private funds. Further, if they can find enough people to fill the required roles, these firms believe they will have an edge going forward in terms of being more appealing to candidates looking for their next move. For firms with this ambition, we believe they need to fill a variety of senior positions to deliver a full-scale offering. CREATING THE RIGHT WFOE STRUCTURE The (perhaps obvious) reality is that WFOE structures represent a new chapter in the evolution of onshore funds management and distribution. As we are still in the early stages, no one firm or advisor has established the winning strategy. As such, many firms are setting out on the journey with a strategy, but learning along the way, and thus flexing when needed. This combination of a well-thought-out goal and process, along with a flexible mindset, seems to be the key. One of the early building blocks is which investment strategy the firm will pursue, as this will have the biggest influence on headcount. Some firms are focusing purely on one product, others are seeking investment teams within Equity, Fixed Income, Multi-Asset and Quant. This clearly has a multiplier effect on the size of the team needed. A cautious approach with a single asset class investment strategy, could be a total of sub-10 headcount. This is also applicable to those players just getting started in China, who tend to be in search of two or three key individuals as a minimum to lead and build the business, such as a general manager, a government relations / regulatory relations person and head of investment. However, if the firm wishes to run more aggressively and invest in multiple lines of product, then the overall number could be 25-plus within 18 months. Below is a rough breakdown of the more “full blown” WFOE structure, with headcount next to the functional areas. Using this as a guide we have observed several firms seeking to stay sub-10 headcount, and some aiming closer to 30 in the medium term. HIRING HOT-SPOTS We are finding that a top-down approach to hiring makes the most sense for foreign asset managers in China. Sequencing of hires is important, the leaders need to help to hire their team, and skipping to mid-level hires without a GM or CIO in place has resulted in problems. The top of the pecking order are general managers, followed by heads of investment / chief investment officers. The next critical hire is the head of compliance / chief compliance officer. Language and the ability to be culturally dynamic between local Chinese and global is absolutely key. In each case, asset managers need to assess a variety of attributes to determine if an individual is the right fit for a WFOE. We see some specific requirements for each role: General Managers / GM Onshore market knowledge and experience, to ensure a deep and rounded understanding of the scope of the opportunity A good cultural fit, and with English-language fluency, since they will need to be in regular communication with global headquarters and aligned with the strategy and vision of the firm The ability to offer strong leadership for the business, including motivating and managing staff on the ground, many of whom are likely to be relatively new to the firm Persistence, given that they will encounter various hurdles and challenges during the early stages of a WFOE, and in securing licences and approvals to launch funds Connections, in terms of clients as well as government and regulatory officials, especially if there is a need at any time to try to smooth or quicken the approval path Mainland national who has previously studied, worked and lived overseas – but has also more recently worked in China to have forged the required connections and market insights Heads of Investment / CIO Knowledge of China’s investment landscape and domestic markets A track-record in leading big investment teams Experience in working overseas in a similar investment role, to ensure they understand and can apply the type of structured investment process that their new employer will demand Understanding and appreciation of the regulatory landscape Cross asset class experience is generally desired First class communication skills in English and Mandarin are essential Heads of Compliance / CCO An ability to understand and apply the technical aspects of the job in a market where rules change frequently Language and cultural skills to liaise with counterparts in Hong Kong, Singapore and further afield Knowledge of – and ability to meet – standards of international best practice to help global colleagues get comfort in understanding the reality of the situation onshore A regulator network based on contacts and experience in getting approvals FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR BOTH SIDES Candidates For candidates as well as their potential employers, there are a number of factors that matter to them in their decision-making about their next move. It is a two-way street. Below are some recurring themes we have observed from both sides of the table. Motivators to move firms – The firm’s apparent commitment to China, based on the stated strategy, plans for growing its WFOE and its track-record to date in terms of implementation The levels of responsibility and trust that the candidate feels they will receive in their new firm The chance that they will be given sufficient autonomy to do their job without feeling they are under a management microscope Increase in their compensation package The opportunity to join a firm with an existing presence, to tap into their market positioning and onshore experience With newer market entrants, some candidates feel they can play a more pivotal role in the firm’s development in China and have a greater impact on the business Factors that make a move less appealing – If there is any question about the company's commitment to the WFOE long term In moving to an international asset manager with more established operation, there might only be openings for middle-tier and junior roles Working in a Chinese institution can offer a better, more natural, cultural fit personally, including communication with managers Compensation can be better within private funds / local companies Some candidates feel they can contribute in a more meaningful way as a part of the core team rather than a satellite operation Candidate might feel they want to be part of a firm at the start of its global growth journey, which applies to a growing number of Chinese asset managers Employers What makes certain candidates stand out – Market knowledge and experience within the onshore asset management landscape A good cultural fit with the international firm, and with English-language fluency, to communicate with senior management and colleagues outside of China Connectivity in the local market – not only with clients, but also in terms of government officials Experience in working overseas in a similar role, to ensure they understand and can apply the type of processes and standards of international best practice that their new employers will demand Understanding and appreciation of the regulatory landscape, as well as knowledge of how to operate successfully within it What makes some candidates less appealing –​ If money seems to be their number-one driver If they have weak communication skills in English, and lack cultural dynamism Insufficient level of knowledge of the market and connections to be successful If they are not senior enough to have the gravitas to help develop the business Their ability to manage their part of the business and lead or grow teams in what is often more akin to a start-up phase The track-record of a candidate – if it shows they move too frequently between different firms Their experience in working with an international organisation, in relation to their understanding of what is required within an international organisation SUMMARY AND OUR EXPERTISE Profile has invested significant time and effort building our China business, having been onshore for eight years. Today, half our business is in China and within that we have a team of experienced consultants and in-house researchers focusing on asset management. We have undertaken many searches in this space and work with WFOEs, JVs and local Chinese Asset Managers. We firmly believe that only by being fully immersed in the local market and by working with all client groups can you truly offer insight and advice of genuine value. The days of “covering China from overseas” are long gone. The landscape in China is rapidly changing and the knock-on effect for human capital is significant. Our experience has taught us to approach the market opportunity with enthusiasm, whilst bearing in mind that for candidates, employers and advisors alike, we are all in the early stages of this journey. Remaining true to our commitment to strive for excellence, the below themes are key to supporting hiring and retention of talent in a dynamic, fast-paced market. 1. Patience & Persistence Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and move forward, as the opportunity – and the steps taken to grasp it – require a new approach. 2. Wage Disparity Particularly in support functions (especially Compliance), standardisation of salary levels seen in mature markets does not exist yet. Those with similar experience can be 50 to 80% apart on their package. Candidates are aware of this disparity and many less well-paid individuals are aiming for 50 to 100% increases to move.​ 3. Cultural Dynamism Clients see the cultural agility to work well between China and International as essential to successful hiring. The often ignored but very real issue on this point is that it is a two-way street; employers also need to show cultural flex in order to attract the best talent. 4. Strategic Vision (strength and flex) Whilst it is imperative to communicate a strong strategic vision for the WFOE, equally important is to always be flexible in delivery in this ever-changing market. Rigidity to every letter of the plan has caused issues for several WFOEs, resulting in costly lessons. 5. Hedge Your Bets The reality is that there is a slight frenzy in hiring activity, and individuals often have multiple options simultaneously. Having a longer shortlist than normal is a good thing as situations change so rapidly. Never assume a hire is complete until the person walks through the door. 6. Be Opportunistic If you find the right person, act swiftly, decisively and get the deal done. 7. Retention Employers must be realistic: Once you make a good hire you are now a target. Make sure employees are well-managed, well-respected and never take anything for granted. Below are examples of what we have completed or are currently engaged in to complete: Front Office – CIO / Portfolio Management / Trading / Product Management / Sales Infrastructure – Compliance / Finance / Operations / Legal / Human Resources For more information or individually tailored advice, please do not hesitate to contact our regional Asset Management team: Hong Kong Office - please contact Andrew Oliver Singapore Office - please contact Stanley Teo Shanghai Office - please contact Yao Xiong Beijing Office - please contact Winni Wei
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Profile Accounting & Finance Market Update, China, Aug 2018

The following report provides an update on the key trends that we have observed within the Accounting & Finance job market in China. It identifies emerging themes across various industries and details the major factors impacting hiring and talent movement. ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE China's economy advanced 6.7% on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of 2018, matching market consensus but slightly lower than the 6.8% expansion seen in the first quarter of 2018. It was the weakest pace of growth since the third quarter of 2016 amid intensifying tariff battles with the US and efforts to deleverage debt and financial risks. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew by 1.8% in the second quarter of 2018, an uplift from the 1.4% expansion seen in the previous quarter and beating market expectations of 1.6%. The unemployment rate declined to 3.83% in the second quarter of 2018, its lowest rate since 2002, and down from 3.89% in the preceding quarter. MARKET TRENDS Financial Planning & Analysis remains a popular function for job seekers as it offers greater exposure, and an opportunity to be closer, to the business. In this space companies have been recruiting professionals with in-depth experience in growing revenue and improving profitability. More and more domestic companies have been transforming their operations from the traditional finance model, where decisions are made purely from an accounting perspective, to the business partner model, where professionals are encouraged to work closely with business leaders to achieve shared organisational objectives. As a result, companies have been sourcing candidates with expertise in restructuring and developing such models to forward-looking ones. As part of this, many companies have been seeking professionals with skills in change management and business finance partnership to help with more advanced business partner models. Professionals with a strong financial analysis skill in particular, who can provide valuable insights when it comes to management decision-making, will be ahead of the game. In contrast, companies favouring traditional accounting models have been transforming (or considering transforming) their operations through implementing centralised shared service centers (SSCs). In the APAC region China is serving as a key hub for companies establishing SSCs or outsourcing existing national accounting teams to third parties. Therefore, senior-level professionals with expertise in designing, setting up or managing a SSC, or outsourcing, have been in high demand, particularly those with regional exposure. For CFO-level recruitment, the financing, M&A and IPO practices have become fundamental requirements to organisations in recent years due to fast-expanding markets like startups and high-tech companies. SALARIES & BONUSES Average salary increases of around 8 to 10% have been the norm for Accounting & Finance professionals this year, with 15% being seen for top performers and in certain sectors. In relation to bonuses, the sectors that performed better, such as high-tech, payment and healthcare, saw higher uplifts than other sectors. As for job movers, salary increments varied depending on the qualifications of the individual and industry in 2017, with a 15 to 20% base increase common when moving companies. This is also in line with the figures seen so far this year. THE FUTURE Given the solid economic landscape in China, demand for Accounting & Finance professionals is expected to remain relatively robust this year. According to the Institute of International Finance, Bank of China, there have already been 5,179 newly established foreign-invested enterprises so far this year, and foreign direct investment is expected to increase by 3% in 2018. The encouraging outlook means that the China job market will remain active this year. In line with the national ‘Internet Plus’ strategy and rapid rise of online and mobile payment solutions and the fintech industry, the remainder of 2018 will bring further demand for Accounting & Finance professionals who are experienced in online payment technology and digital platforms. A number of domestic conglomerates have benefited from the Chinese government's 'One Belt and One Road' policy, making it easier and quicker for local companies to trade with the rest of the world. As a result, domestic organisations have recorded greater business growth, which often leads to higher compensation packages for candidates, and are being viewed as having greater decision-making powers as their headquarters is usually based locally. Due to these benefits, domestic companies have become the preferable employer over multinationals for many professionals, and this trend will likely continue.
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Profile Accounting & Finance Market Update, Singapore, Aug 2018

The following report provides an update on the key trends that we have observed within the Accounting & Finance job market in Singapore. It identifies emerging themes across various industries and details the major factors impacting hiring and talent movement. ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE Based on advance estimates, the Singapore economy expanded 3.8% on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of 2018, slightly lower than the 4.3% expansion seen in the preceding quarter. Specifically, the manufacturing and services sectors continue to fuel Singapore's growth, with 8.6% and 3.4% expansion seen respectively in the second quarter of 2018. All the manufacturing clusters saw growth; however, the biggest contributors were the electronics and biomedical manufacturing clusters. For services, the finance & insurance and wholesale & retail trade sectors were the solid performers. Total employment, excluding Foreign Domestic Workers, increased substantially in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first, and a reversal from the contraction observed in the same period a year ago. In regards to retrenchments, there was a slight increase in the second quarter from the preceding quarter. This is reflective of ongoing restructuring and reorganisation within companies. MARKET TRENDS Candidates with demonstrated business partnering skills have been increasingly in demand, especially for roles within the supply chain and manufacturing functions. More organisations have been embarking on finance transformation initiatives to drive process and system improvements. There has been a visible increase in demand for professionals with demonstrated experience in driving and leading finance transformation projects relating to process improvements. In addition, jobs have surged within this space as a result of digital and regulatory changes. Transactional accounting work has continued to move away from Singapore to lower cost locations and, as such, many multinationals have been recruiting candidates who are experienced in managing insourced and outsourced shared service centres (SSCs). With the ever-changing digital world, there has been an increase in recruitment for positions in data mining and analytics. As tax authorities develop globally and implement new regulations and compliance rulings, demand for tax positions will remain high, especially in specialised functions such as indirect tax and transfer pricing. Due to new revenue recognition and lease accounting standards, professionals with experience in revenue accounting and revenue reporting have been highly sought after. An increasing number of companies have been looking into M&A activities, leading to a surge in hiring for M&A positions. Companies have been actively searching for candidates with strong soft skills, such as adaptability and openness to change, in order to deal with the fast-changing and dynamic climate brought by organisational restructuring and post-merger and acquisitions. SALARIES & BONUSES Employers across all industries have taken a conservative approach in regards to salaries and bonuses. The average salary increment for professionals this year was in the vicinity of 3 to 6%, with top performers receiving higher increments of between 8 to 12%. Candidates have been weighing up other factors besides compensation when considering whether to move organisations, with career development, company culture and industry changes all playing a role. Bonuses this year, on average, ranged between to 1 to 3 months across the board. THE FUTURE As we enter the second half of the year, there is heightened economic uncertainty in light of the ongoing US-China trade tensions. If trade tensions escalate significantly, Singapore will not be immune from repercussions. Hiring activity for the remainder of the year will be cautious. Some sectors, however, will remain strong including digital, healthcare and technology. Artificial intelligence and robotics is changing the way in which businesses operate and, as such, the Accounting & Finance function will continue to see transformation. With an increasing number of companies adopting robotics and analytical tools, demand for Accounting & Finance professionals with experience in predictive analytics will be strong. There will also likely be an increase in demand for individuals with a background in financial engineering. Companies will continue to drive transformation initiatives that streamline processes, resulting in an increased need for professionals experienced in leading finance transformation projects. They will also continue to recruit professionals with business partnering expertise to help advise and add value to the business.
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Profile Event: 'Working in Asia' Survey Results Launch Event 2018

PROFILE SURVEY RESULTS LAUNCH EVENT WITH ROFFEY PARK: 'WORKING IN ASIA - KEY HR AND LEADERSHIP PRIORITIES FOR 2018' In conjunction with Roffey Park, Profile invited selected professionals to attend the launch event of our 'Working in Asia' survey results for 2018. The event was held over breakfast on Wednesday, 4th of July 2018 at the Suntec City Guild House in Singapore. Alex Swarbrick, the APAC Regional Director at Roffey Park, presented the key findings from the survey and facilitated thought-provoking discussions. The survey was conducted in January this year and was filled in by more than 2,000 professionals from Singapore, Hong Kong and China. A wide range of topics were covered including people development, leadership, artifical intelligence, mental health and engagement. The results were of particular interest to anyone with responsibility for developing effective management and HR strategies, OD initiatives, and successful organisations. All attendees left the session with a hard copy of the full research report. The above illustration was created live by an artist during the event. Key themes from the report were brought to life, including HR and leadership challenges, digital and AI, and creating healthy workplaces. Watch this video to learn more: https://vimeo.com/281445459. ​Alex Swarbrick, the APAC Regional Director at Roffey Park, facilitated the event. ABOUT ROFFEY PARK Roffey Park is an internationally renowned leadership institute based in the UK and Singapore, developing people who develop organisations. With 70 years’ experience of leadership, organisational development, human resources and coaching, Roffey Park provides executive education and research to many of the world’s leading companies and organisations. ​To learn more about Roffey Park, please visit http://www.roffeypark.com.
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Profile News: HR Insight Q2 2018

In the Macmillan Davies magazine, ‘HR Insight Q2 2018’, Profile's Amanda Clarke shares her thoughts on HR recruitment trends in Asia. The article is extracted below. GLOBAL MARKET TRENDS UK "After a mixed end to 2017, the first quarter of 2018 has been relatively active. We are continuing to see businesses promoting internally, which has resulted in a slow down at the more senior end of the market but a rise in demand for junior and mid-level professionals. Temporary to permanent and fixed-term contracts that offer more flexibility whilst organisations navigate through uncertain times and try to predict demand internally remain popular at all levels, which slightly bucks the wider market trend favouring permanent hires over contracts. The city is reporting growth in permanent hires, up 11% against the same period, and is predicting that financial services will emerge largely unscathed from Brexit, with fewer job losses than originally predicted. However, many of our clients remain cost conscious when hiring but we still find there is flexibility when competing for the best talent. Demand for strong regulatory experience continues, with GDPR still impacting the workforce. We saw a huge spike in demand towards the end of last year with businesses rushing to hire to ensure compliance, often on a temporary or contract basis. Following the deadline for gender pay gap reporting, HR functions are thinking more seriously about diversity & inclusion, which has resulted in a demand for related specialists. The market for generalist roles remains steady, for both interim and permanent, particularly within the senior commerce sector. On the interim side we are seeing a number of requests for practitioners experienced in establishing an HR function in SME’s as well as an increase in the number of contract candidate registrations at the senior level. The trend for specialists continues with learning & development and reward positions still being high, with many clients prioritising relevant sector experience too. At the junior end of the market, we have seen an increase in permanent generalist roles (circa £35-40k salary) for the first time in over a year, where lower level roles (£25 - £30k) still remain in high demand." Darren Hayman & Angela Franks - Macmillan Davies ASIA “Interestingly, the market began to pick up markedly from October 2017 and continues to be extremely buoyant through Q1 2018. Even in some of the typically quietest months of December and January, we took on a number of new mandates that were additional headcounts, notably including front office recruitment positions. Of particular interest has been specialist roles including recruitment, talent management, and HRIS/ HR operations positions. As the market has tightened, clients are starting to look further afield (beyond Asia) and be more flexible with their requirements. There is also an increased dissatisfaction in the workplace; more candidates are open to a move (than this time last year), many believe they are not being adequately developed in their current firm, are disengaged by ongoing office politics and in many cases hanker after better leadership. Work/life balance remains an important attraction and retention tool, to such an extent that candidates in some instances will forgo an increase in compensation in favour of a flexible working arrangement. Not only has the market picked up in financial services, but also across FMCG, luxury and mass market retail. Up from 2017, base salary increases and bonuses seem to have fared moderately better across the board. That said, given the confidence in the market, we are seeing candidates’ expectations on compensation increase. Typically candidates can expect to see a 10 to 15% base increase to move companies, but in this climate, the numbers could exceed this. Notably, we have recently seen a number of clients buy-out notice periods and bonuses in an effort to expedite the process and ensure candidates start within the first quarter of 2018. Having taken on (and completed) an unprecedented number of mandates in the first quarter of 2018, we are led to believe that the pickup in the market is set to continue through 2018. Becoming wise to the shortage of available talent, candidates will also become increasingly demanding on their salary expectations and overall packages. Clients who can move their recruitment processes quickly, be creative with total and holistic compensation packages, and who ultimately can recognise that each candidate has individual/unique needs, will be the winners in this refreshingly busy but candidate-short market." Amanda Clarke - Profile Search & Selection AUSTRALIA​ "The first quarter of 2018 started like many in Australia, with the post-Christmas holidays in full swing and a much quieter recruitment market. Australia Day on 25th January again acted as a watershed with the HR recruitment market picking up significantly in February and March. Both permanent and contract opportunities saw significant uplifts in the east coast capital cities. Combined with this increase in demand, we also saw demand in particular segments of the market be well ahead of supply. This has meant that for some, HR professionals have had plenty of career opportunities to choose from, and caused some salary inflation in certain areas. However, this has not been as apparent in the senior market where supply is still outstripping demand. In both NSW and Queensland, HR opportunities grew by 12.8% over the last 12 months, whilst in Victoria growth was a heady 17.1%. As a result of this growth in Victoria, the demand for mid-career HR generalists has outstripped supply, making it a very challenging market for companies to hire talent. It has required organisations to move at pace to secure talent, as these individuals are often juggling 4 to 5 excellent opportunities, as well as really engage talent in the opportunity on offer. A similar situation is apparent in the junior market in Queensland and the mid-market in Sydney. The knock-on effect of such a strong permanent market at these levels has been the difficulty in acquiring short-term contract talent, as this market is usually well served by permanent candidates filling a gap between roles. On numerous occasions, placements of short-term talent are falling over, as they secure permanent opportunities. As the Australian market now enters the final quarter of the financial year, the expectation is that demand will remain strong. The final quarter is traditionally one of the strongest of the year, and if it follows through as expected, the demand for scarce talent will continue, and put pressure on employers to ensure that their offer is compelling. Many candidates though, in the junior and mid markets, are making choices based on development and career opportunities, and are not just making a short-term financial decision." John Baker - The Next Step To read the full magazine, please click here.
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