Market update on contracting recruitment in Asia

By Aily Foo – Senior Consultant, Temp & Contract Recruitment, Links International Hong Kong
and Melanie Weller – Associate Consultant, Links International Singapore

As specialists in Temporary and Contract recruitment in Asia, over the past few years, we have seen a continued trend for investment banks and financial institutions to hire contract staff across a number of different roles, and the continued trend has seen that many contractors are being hired in more and more parts of the organisations than just the straightforward process-orientated roles or entry-level roles (admin, documentations, IT Support, settlements, etc.). Whilst hiring in many firms for contract staff has been significantly slower in 2016 compared with 2015, the majority of roles being recruited for has remained as follows:

Hong Kong:

With regards to contract jobs in Hong Kong, these tend to be primarily related to regulatory or remediation projects, compliance-related KYC/AML, client onboarding and operations, or project roles with equity derivatives experience. Front office developers and IT also continue to be sought after.


Contract jobs in Singapore differ slightly in that, whilst we also see compliance, onboarding and operations roles in Singapore, there is a heavy emphasis on market risk analysts, BA and PMs for both IT and non-IT (risk, finance, etc.).

Furthermore, one key trend is that firms are more open to hiring contractors at the VP level and above, as these contractors can demonstrate a stronger ability to integrate with the new organisation more quickly and therefore make an impact due to their seniority, technical and project skills, as well as gravitas.

We are seeing firms that are more comfortable with paying better at this level for the right individual, as long as the contract length is finite.

Across both Hong Kong and Singapore, the average contract length continues to be around six months, but contract to permanent conversions are down year on year (from 20% to 10% of contracts) as permanent headcount is harder to come by and this has also driven an increase in contract extensions.

If you are looking for a contract job in Hong Kong or Singapore, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us help you reach your potential.