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Asian bankers know it's a bad market but still have big demands about jobs

It’s no secret that finance’s job market is going through a bit of a malaise at the moment around the world, but that doesn’t seem to be preventing demands from being made – and in Asia especially.

At an eFinancialCareers roundtable for recruiters earlier this week, a number of recruiters in Hong Kong and Singapore discussed (under conditions of anonymity) the difficulties that they were facing in pairing financial services candidates with jobs.

The big deal is, without a doubt, the importance of hybrid and remote work. The recruiters noted that a dearth of candidates meant that the candidates who were willing to move were “not settling for less than hybrid." That’s significant, with work-from-home being a major dividing factor between good and bad companies to work for in our ideal employer report. “Travel and face-to-face is a problem,” the recruiters additionally agreed. Remote is preferable.

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The recruiters said most companies in the region are offering two or three days of remote working a week, although some candidates threatened to walk away from a job offer if it wasn’t fully remote. Technology professionals are the most demanding.

The number of jobseekers on the market is also shifting – and that’s shifting expectations.

The reality that everyone’s facing – the weakness of the jobs market – is also impacting the recruitment process, which is taking longer than ever. Salary negotiations have returned to normal in Hong Kong and Singapore but people are now demanding other things instead: remote work and job titles are top of the list. Good candidates are still well-placed to make these demands: one recruiter said counteroffers are increasingly common, as no one wants to lose them. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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