Singapore bankers demand “complete control” over work arrangements

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Singapore bankers demand “complete control” over work arrangements

What’s on the minds of finance recruiters in the Singapore and Hong Kong finance sectors right now? And how does this impact you as a candidate?

To find out, eFinancialCareers organised a round table for senior recruiters in the Asian financial hubs. Here’s what they said about some of the key trends in their industry.

Some candidates are demanding complete flexibility with working arrangements

In a candidate-driven market in financial services, some job seekers are pushing back on roles that offer flexibility, but only on the employer’s terms. One delegate at the round table said a candidate rejected a job that came with a mandatory two days in the office.

“It wasn’t about the number of days; it was that he didn’t want his flexibility to be limited in any way. We’re coming across more candidates who want complete control,” said the Singapore-based recruiter. Fintech firms, more so than large banks, have been quicker to adopt ultra-flexible “work from anywhere policies” to attract talent, added another delegate, who like his counterparts asked not to be named in this article.

Many interview processes are still entirely held via video

Surprisingly, despite the ongoing lifting of Covid restrictions, many interview processes in financial services are still taking place entirely via video. One recruiter said about half of her jobs are filled without the candidate and client meeting face to face. Another said at least one in-person interview is now the norm for revenue generating roles, but there’s no such expectation in job such as finance, corporate services, and technology.

Hiring recruiters is challenging

The delegates agreed that there is a shortage of experienced recruiters in their markets, which is making expanding their teams more difficult. “The basic salary for recruiters in Singapore is now way more aggressive than in Hong Kong. I thought I could come to Singapore with the same incentive scheme as Hong Kong, but I’ve had to change it,” said a Hong Kong-based recruiter whose firm has been expanding in the Lion City.

Another delegate warned that although recruiters can easily move agencies in the current buoyant market, only the top ones will survive any impending downturn.

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Photo by Spencer Arquimedes on Unsplash

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