Nearly half of Hong Kong firms plan to increase their talent pool in banking and accounting in the first half of 2014, says specialised recruitment firm Robert Half, in its latest employment report for Hong Kong. In addition, more than a quarter of IT firms expect to add new positions.

The Robert Half Employment Report for the First Half of 2014, which surveyed over 400 financial services leaders, CFOs and finance directors, and CIOs/CTOs, found that the top three reasons for hiring more people are new projects and initiatives, business growth, and new market penetration.

Hiring projections in Hong Kong first half of 2014

Banking & financial services

Commerce & industry

IT

Expanding

46%

48%

26%

Maintaining

47%

43%

61%

Freezing

5%

9%

13%

Reducing

1%

0%

1%

"Employee expansion is high on the priority lists for many business leaders in Hong Kong this year," said Pallavi Anand, Director, Robert Half Hong Kong. "Our study reveals that both firms across banking and financial services, commerce and industry, and IT, are optimistic and confident in their business growth. As a result, we see opportunities for strong candidates in finance and IT."

According to the survey, 68 percent of respondents within banking and financial services consider accounting and finance professionals the most sought after talent.

In commerce and industry, business/financial analysis professionals are in high demand, as indicated by 31 percent of the respondents.

In IT, 46 percent of CTOs and CIOs find that security is the most sought after skill, followed by software development (31 percent).