Tech is changing the recruitment game in Hong Kong, says Bloomberg’s Vandna Ramchandani
New technological advances are transforming the way many industries have operated for years. We talk to Vandna Ramchandani, head of recruitment for Asia-Pacific at Bloomberg, about how this is affecting hirers in the tech space and what professionals can to do make their mark.
How is tech driving the financial landscape?
Driven in part by the rise of Silicon Valley, technology is playing a greater role in shaping the way business across many industries is done, including the financial sector. The fintech landscape, for example, has been evolving and growing substantially in recent years, and cultivating a whole new generation of talent and entrepreneurs.
As one of Asia’s key financial hubs, Hong Kong continues to attract and nurture talent that comfortably sits between finance and technology. It is a highly educated and well-connected city, and its position as a key international gateway to mainland China will continue to grow.
How are businesses responding to these changes in terms of recruitment?
Finding and attracting the right talent is just as important as retaining your best performers. Candidates are not just looking for a strong, recognisable brand anymore – you need to provide your people with a variety of local and global growth opportunities, ensuring a dynamic and creative working environment, and have generous benefits in place, from healthcare to maternity and paternity leave. These factors are having a growing influence on candidates’ choice in company.
The education system is also key to all of this – more students are coming through the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, benefiting all technology and financial companies in the long run. We envision the future workforce to be mobile, innovative, intuitive, dynamic and flexible – these are just some of the elements that we look for when we recruit.
Is it better to join a start-up or a multinational in the tech space?
There are advantages to each, and it largely depends on what type of experience you possess and what drives you as a professional. Multinational or not, most companies in this space possess an entrepreneurial spirit inherent to typical start-up culture, and salary levels will largely depend on your skill-set. Those with strong market, technical or sales knowledge can be valuable to certain companies.
What separates a great tech professional from an average one?
There is one skill that we value in particular – lateral thinking. The industry is constantly evolving and disrupting old industries, so those who succeed need to have bold new ideas, possess the ability to execute quickly, and collaborate across departments, industries and geographies. There are other skills, such as creative thinking, problem solving, technical knowledge and, in our case, financial market knowledge, which are also important. Those who excel can bring this all together and make their mark.
They would also understand where their contribution fits into the whole – they see how it all fits together, and how users interact with their product in order to help them use it better. Technology can sometimes get rather complex, which is why it’s important for someone to have the ability to distil, simplify and make a connection with the end user.
What are the most important qualifications that hirers in the tech space look for?
A financial or technology-based education is not essential. Having said that, being tech-savvy will definitely go a long way, because it touches across all our businesses – from financial products, news and media to operations.
The media industry, for example, has fundamentally changed as the traditional morphed into the digital.
To succeed, you need to think digitally and have the ability to leverage technology in a smart and thoughtful way.
How can those in other sectors break into tech?
It will largely depend on your particular skill-set and how you see that fitting into the company you want to join. Leading companies naturally require diverse skill-sets, so candidates looking to make a move into this space need to do their research, identify their transferable skills and think laterally.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Future minds.