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Digitalisation and internationalisation - Key elements of employment trends
The Asia Pacific banking industry will continue to see a rise in demand and salary among highly skilled technical workers in the backdrop of ongoing digitalisation.

Wendy Weng
--> February 02, 2018 | Wendy Weng
  • Banks in Asia Pacific will continue to have relatively stable front office recruitment, as banks seek for young talents to provide fresh insights
  • Recruitment in banks’ middle and back offices is anticipated to decline as banks seek to cut cost and replace manpower with information technology automation
  • Numerous financial institutions have developed various campaign initiatives to attract local talents based overseas

In 2018, continuing the growth momentum of 2017, one can expect the IT job market to remain active in the Asia Pacific region. Driven by key growth areas such as automation, cybersecurity and big data, businesses across all sectors are undertaking more digital transformation projects and rapidly internationalising to remain competitive and cost-efficient. Jobseekers with rich international experience and possess niche technical skills like DevOps, OpenSource and UX/UI designers are highly sought after. As financial and non-financial businesses seek for successful hires from a limited pool of candidates, there is an acute talent shortage which places upward pressure on salaries. According to the salary survey released by Robert Walters in 2018, these professionals can expect salary growth of between 25% and 30%.

With regards to recruitment in banks’ front offices, it is expected to remain relatively stable as banks are seeking for young talents to provide fresh insights. In contrast, recruitment in banks’ middle and back offices is anticipated to decline as banks seek to cut cost and replace manpower with IT automation. Moreover, the onset of heavier regulations acts as a key recruitment driver in the compliance market. Another noteworthy trend in the banking sector would be the rise in demand for contract positions. The willingness to take up a contract role stems from the need to broaden corporate exposure and gain experience.

To combat the scarcity of candidates, numerous financial institutions have developed various initiatives to attract local talents based overseas such as Indonesia’s “Pulang Kampung” campaign, Singapore’s “Balik Kampung” campaign, Vietnam’s “Come Pho Goo” campaign and the Philippines’ “Balik Bayan” campaign. Hiring managers are also advised to streamline their hiring procedures, be clear and succinct about their expectations, and be willing to offer attractive wages as part of their talent-attraction and staff-retention strategies. 

Keywords: IT, digitalisation, internationalisation, salary, financial technology, technology and operations, transaction banking