Professionals in various technology domains are experiencing changes in talent demand, skills requirements and salary expectations influenced by global economic shifts, digital transformations and government initiatives.

The aftermath of retrenchments from high-profile companies has left its mark on Hong Kong SAR’s technology industry as well. Many companies have adopted a cautious approach to hiring, leading to a slow market recovery.

At the same time, digital transformation remains a common thread across Hong Kong SAR’s economic landscape. Organisations are continuing to invest in maintaining and updating their internal and external systems, and finding new channels to reach more customers using technology.

As demand soars for IT jobs, read on to find out what employers and employees alike are looking for in the 2024 talent landscape.

This article offers insights from Randstad Hong Kong SAR’s 2024 market outlook and salary trends  report, including key labour trends and employer insights on salaries, bonuses, hiring trends and talent expectations in the technology industry.

Download the full report to gain valuable insights for your talent attraction and workforce planning strategy in 2024.

IT industry in Hong Kong SAR is growing
IT industry in Hong Kong SAR is growing

the need for business analysis & project management talent

As multinational companies reassess their strategies in response to the global economic landscape, the unveiling of the “Fintech 2025” strategy signals a potential shift. This strategic roadmap for banks, insurance firms, wealth management and capital markets companies, will lead to the creation of new fintech jobs in 2024.

Candidates with domain expertise in the finance industry are expected to be in high demand from quarter two of 2024 onwards.

Banking and financial services firms will also continue to invest in cloud migration and implementation projects to enable better resource sharing and improve cross-market collaboration.

These investments will help to boost overall confidence, leading to an increase in hiring activity. However, employers may remain cautious considering that the main driving factors for talent movement are projected to be salary increments as well as company restructuring and retrenchments.

software engineers remain high in demand

Within the software engineering space, we are observing multinational companies source junior employees from other markets like mainland China, India and Vietnam capitalising on larger  talent pools and economical labour costs.

The growing demand for software engineers is driven by e-commerce firms streamlining their processes to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction. This is further fueled by the rising adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives in various sectors, including transportation, construction, logistics, and healthcare; as well as the promotion of smart city initiatives.

These developments underscore the need for skilled software engineers to design, implement, and maintain the software systems driving these advancements.

In 2024, established big companies are expected to maintain a steady headcount. On the other hand, start-ups may drive their growth by adding middle to senior-level developers and system analysts to their workforce.

hong kong’s emerging technologies, data and AI industries

The policy address indicated a higher allocation of investments to foster the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3 technologies in Hong Kong. This strategic move is expected to lead to an increase in hiring activity within these areas, with a focus on strong domain knowledge. The emerging tech industry can anticipate a growing demand for candidates possessing niche skills and the capacity to adapt to evolving technologies. 

We will also see a widespread adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI) across industries, driven by companies seeking to improve internal operations, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Further success stories of the use of generative AI in business operations - either to increase efficiencies or generate more revenue - will increase the demand for talent skilled in building and integrating AI capabilities in companies.

Similar to other global hubs, there is a severe talent shortage within the emerging technologies space in Hong Kong SAR. With the new fintech adoption roadmap, wealth management firms, insurance companies and family offices will start competing for talent focusing on AI and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

companies are strengthening their cybersecurity functions

As businesses across various industries in Hong Kong SAR undergo digital transformation, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of technology and a stronger reliance on digital platforms. This trend amplifies the risks associated with cyber threats. 

Furthermore, spurred by both regulatory requirements and heightened public awareness, the growing emphasis on data privacy and protection compels more companies to invest in cybersecurity measures. As companies increasingly prioritise data governance and safeguarding their digital infrastructure, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will remain high.

The impact of digital transformation, government initiatives, and global economic dynamics is evident, creating a greater need for business analysts, project managers, software engineers, and experts in emerging technologies, data, and AI.

Success in this evolving job market requires a combination of technical prowess, soft skills, and adaptability to meet the demands of a rapidly changing technology industry.

2024 technology talent and salary trends

Hiring expectations are high in 2024 as employers are not simply evaluating technical skills and domain expertise. Soft skills, including communication, stakeholder management and business acumen,  take centre stage in the recruitment process, particularly when recruiting middle to senior-level roles.

Internal salary reviews in 2024 will range between 3.5% to 5%, increasing to 10% to 12% for those receiving promotions. Talent who are looking for new employers will be negotiating for a 15% to 20% raise on average.

For business analysts and infrastructure professionals who choose to stay with their employers in 2024, internal salary reviews will range between 5% and 10%. Those who are searching for new companies will be negotiating for a 15% to 25% pay raise, along with better work-life balance and supportive line managers.

Within the software industry, the average internal annual salary review will likely land at 5% and talent looking for new employers can expect a 20% pay increment.

Besides salary expectations, candidates are increasingly valuing flexible work arrangements such as work-from-home policies when making their career decisions. Data and AI talent are seeking companies that can offer them a data-driven environment to explore the boundaries of technology and AI. 

the most in-demand technology roles in 2024

These are the top 3 most in-demand tech jobs in Hong Kong SAR for 2024:

  • Cybersecurity professionals
  • Software engineering, particularly middle to senior-level developers and system analysts
  • Web3 and AI specialists, especially those skilled in building and integrating AI capabilities from the ground up for organisations
most-in demand tech jobs in hong kong sar
most-in demand tech jobs in hong kong sar

download hong kong SAR’s technology industry 2024 market and salary outlook report.

The 2024 Randstad Hong Kong SAR’s Market and Salary Outlook report looks at talent analyses, key trends and new salary benchmarks in the following industries:

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