Recruitment on hold for financial industry in Asia

With the economy coming to a stand-still, financial institutions in Hong Kong and Singapore are putting their recruitment plans on hold.
By: | February 25, 2020

The financial industry in Asia, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong, is putting its brakes on recruitment as it grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Bloomberg.

Many businesses have been brought to a near stand-still and that has inevitably affected the financial institutions in the region with restricted travels to mainland China resulting in less investments coming in during this period.

“Everybody is distracted,” Gurj Sandhu, a managing director at Morgan McKinley Group Ltd. in Singapore, told Bloomberg. He also added that hiring is falling down the “pecking order,” although job cuts are not in the plans yet.

With China being a major investment market, the restricted travels have made it difficult for deals to be closed as bankers are not able to physically meet with the clients during this period.

“Companies are not risking international travel, they are not risking client meetings unless it is critical,” said Bethan Howell, a Hong Kong-based consultant at Selby Jennings Ltd.

Moreover, with banker roles being big-ticket items for financial groups, companies would prefer to interview them in person rather than over the phone. Therefore, most of them are holding off recruitment plans until they can meet candidates in person.