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In the Macmillan Davies magazine, ‘HR Insight Q4 2017’, Profile's Amanda Clarke shares her thoughts on HR recruitment trends in Asia. The article is extracted below.



"As we enter 2018 many of the key hiring trends of 2017 look set to continue well into the new year. Demand for specialists continues across all sectors due to the complex regulatory changes set to take effect this year. Demand for policy and GDPR specialists is on the rise while requests for professionals experienced in gender pay gap reporting remains in demand. Reward and L&D roles have significantly increased across London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Within financial services, candidates with knowledge of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, that will apply to all financial services firms in 2018, has been a significant skill requirement for 2017. The senior end of the market remains highly competitive with no shortage of experienced candidates, but with a drop in senior level roles as businesses are managing their succession planning and often choosing to promote internally.

Consequently we are seeing an exodus of talent moving from financial services into related and non-related sectors where specialist skill set and culture fit is trumping specific sector experience. The north-west has experienced an increase in roles in professional services, which has been mirrored in the midlands where we have also seen the bigger companies moving to Birmingham and experiencing a shortage of high calibre talent, as well as increased hiring in the charity sector.

18 months on, the uncertainty of Brexit and the prolonged negotiations is still impacting hiring. Businesses are understandably remaining cautious, particularly towards the senior end of the market. This has boosted the number of interim and fixed-term-contracts and we have also seen a steady stream of junior and mid-level HR generalist roles and an increase in low level admin/assistant roles, across both permanent and interim / FTC."

Darren Hayman & Angela Franks - Macmillan Davies


"The last quarter of 2017 was surprisingly busy. Not only did we not see a slow down, we actively took on several new mandates in the last few weeks of December. In particular, demand has been roles within financial services, specifically smaller investment houses, Chinese firms looking to increase their offshore offering and Insurance companies that are continuing to expand in the region.

There was and will be an increased need for excellent and senior HR Business Partners with proven financial services experience and strong business acumen. In addition, we saw a marked interest in Talent Managers, strong HR Operations as well as seasoned C&B professionals with experience in HR Analytics (and HRIS).

2018 promises to be a buoyant year with additional headcounts already in the pipeline. That said, with a shortage of high-calibre candidates with specialist skills in the region, clients will be forced to look abroad (even outside of Asia Pacific) to fulfil their requirements."

Amanda Clarke - Profile Seach & Selection


"The final quarter for 2017 was predictably softer in the Australian HR market than the previous two quarters. This softness occurs every year in the lead up to the Christmas holiday, which also includes the start of the school summer holiday. The only state to record a rise in advertised opportunities was Queensland, which grew by 3.1%, with the other eastern states (NSW down 6.5% and Victoria down 4.7%) showing an expected seasonal decline. These figures though mask outstanding growth over the whole 2017 for these states (NSW up 16.1% and Victoria up 13.7%) where activity has been strong and consistent. Queensland recorded the highest growth over the full year with a figure of 18.2%, on the back of improved activity in the mining sector supporting activity in other key industry sectors such as education and the public sector.

Within the occupational groups, whilst generalist HR professionals continue to show strong demand, the largest growth has been seen in the Occupational Health & Safety market with 27.6% growth over the year. This was though coming from a low base, but now stands at its highest level for 3 years. The only real disappointment for the market was with senior appointments where advertised opportunities actually fell in 2017 by 0.2%. These figures might not be a true representation of market activity, with many senior roles being sourced via search, but as a year on year comparison, is a fair indicator of overall activity.

As we enter 2018 we remain confident that the market will continue to provide excellent opportunities for quality candidates. Whilst some macro-economic data gives some reason to be cautious, the Australian jobs market remains robust."

John Baker - The Next Step

To read the full magazine, please click here


Amanda Clarke, Director, Profile Search & Selection


February 2018