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Market Info

Overall Summary 

This year has been one of the slowest years for technology recruitment in the past 10 years. Fluctuations in the crypto space, US tech layoffs, banking slowdown, and the uncertain economy have all made this a tough year to look for a job. This has not just affected technologists looking for jobs but has also resulted in the downsizing of HR personnel within technology at many of the larger firms. 

We found Singapore to be slower than Hong Kong because of the inability and/or unwillingness of companies to sponsor Employment Passes in Singapore. Hong Kong was relatively more active as companies tended to hire foreign workers in Hong Kong due to the ease of obtaining visas. 

In terms of technology hiring, the most active sectors have been the government sector and in the latter half of the year, the insurance sector. 

Financial Services and Insurance 

We saw muted hiring activity both from the buy side and the sell side. The active roles mainly included those within the development space (Java/Python), and the Infrastructure space (Cybersecurity/DevOps) followed by those within the Data Analytics and PM space. 

Technology roles within the Insurance Sector (both contracting and permanent) shot up in the second half of the year as the demand from China for Insurance Products went up. 

Other Sectors/Domain-Specific Trends 

The need for talent within Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics has increased since the middle of 2023 and will likely continue to accelerate going into 2024. Singapore is trying to establish itself as a big player in this domain. 

Web3 developers are going to be in high demand as businesses increasingly embrace decentralized technologies. Development experience in blockchain platforms like Ethereum, and programming languages such as Solidity seem to be growing in importance. 

Other Noteworthy Points

While we have been noting media reports of people leaving Hong Kong, we have also observed a lot of interest in overseas candidates, especially within the Finance Technology sector, wanting to move to Hong Kong for career opportunities that are mostly unavailable elsewhere in Asia. 

We have had conversations with multiple CIOs, and the consensus regarding the upcoming year's IT budget within the business-as-usual framework is that most foresee it remaining unchanged. Nonetheless, some CIOs mentioned the potential for acquiring supplementary project budgets across different initiatives. 

Singapore and Hong Kong have been competing to woo as many family offices as possible. According to this article, Singapore is still leading this space but Hong Kong is trying to close the gap with all its new tax incentives for family offices.  

We trust this insight will be of value to you. 

Best Regards,

Vince Natteri, Managing Director

(on behalf of the Pinpoint Asia Recruitment Team)

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