March 1st, 2011
06:24 AM GMT
Many companies are making a big push for hiring in Asia in 2011. If you've got certain skill sets, you could be in the driver's seat. Hays Recruitment agency recently surveyed more than 500 companies in mainland China and Hong Kong. The agency discovered companies in one of the world’s hottest markets are having a difficult time finding the right candidate in three sectors: sales, engineering and accounting.
During the recession, companies pared down their sales and marketing departments. Many firms have been working with skeleton staffs but now they're ready to refill these old positions. "Health care sales reps [are] a big new industry in China. The growing middle class can afford personal health care. A big chunk (of demand) we're seeing is in the health care area like pharmaceuticals and hospitals in China," says Emma Charnock, Hays regional manager. Candidates who are bilingual and have basic science or medical backgrounds have the biggest edge.
Engineering /Architect / Design
Despite China's efforts to slow down its economy, there are still many major construction projects slated for 2011. You will see everything from luxury shopping malls to high-speed rail projects. There's increasing demand for architects and designers for luxury stores, hotels and corporate interiors.
Major infrastructure projects like high-speed rail are creating demand for engineers with rail and tunneling experience. Yet it’s very difficult to find these candidates locally in Asia, Charnock says. Chinese companies often hire candidates from the U.K., Australia and the United States. There's demand for "Engineering Procurement Construction Managers" - someone who can oversee a project from beginning to end.
Singapore is another good possibility for job-seekers. The government rail projects there make up a major portion of the construction market. These projects are looking for estimators, station managers, tunnel managers and design engineers.
Accounting & Finance
In the finance industry, bonuses were paid out in February around the Lunar New Year holiday. Now with bonuses safely in hand, many employees are itching to switch jobs. There's been a lot of movement in banking with rising demand for financial planners and analysts. "In 2010, we saw salary increases of 10-15% and we expect a similar trajectory for 2011," says Charnock. "We're seeing a definite increase in demand for executive roles like CFOs."
Many multinational companies indicate they may try to localize their senior management teams in China by hiring local candidates with China experience or overseas experience. So job-seekers with bilingual and bicultural skills are highly marketable. Candidates who have experience working under USGAAP (United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) are also in demand since many multi-nationals in Asia are operating under these accounting standards.
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