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Uptrend for contractuals

Published on Thursday, 17 Feb 2011

We saw increased hiring last year, with rising demand for key account managers and brand managers.

The talent shortage meant that some candidates were able to command salary raises of 10 to 15 per cent and more. Although more overseas candidates expressed an interest in careers in Hong Kong's fast-moving consumer goods sector, there were limited opportunities for professionals who lacked localised skill sets and who didn't speak Putonghua.

Some firms tried to hire account managers on contract as they sought to expand their capabilities while being able to scale back if growth stalled.

We expect candidates from the retail operations and brand management industries to stay in demand as companies look to grow. Key account managers and brand managers will be highly sought-after. English and Putonghua skills will be critical to securing these roles, and candidates who lack communication skills will find opportunities limited.

This year, we expect firms to become more flexible by taking advantage of contractual arrangements. We predict a shortage of contracting candidates, and organisations may need to offer higher salaries in order to attract a greater number of professionals to this field.

Hilly Dannaoui, manager -sales and marketing division, Robert Walters Hong Kong

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