- Impacts On The IT Hiring From Digital Transformation Trends Of Different Industries
- New Trends and Prospects
- Hiring Trends
- Salary Adjustment 2022
- Employers’ Challenges
- Venturenix & Venturenix LAB
Covid-19 has severely affected the global market for over 3 years. The unemployment rate in Hong Kong has dropped 0.2 percent in the last two months of 2021; but will it continue to drop in 2022? With the attack of the Omicron Variant, the Hong Kong job market continues to fight the challenge. Since travel restrictions have been implemented the number of foreign talents who are willing to travel to Hong Kong, has visibly decreased and has made a huge impact on the IT industry.
(Image from tradingeconomics.com)
On top of the pandemic, the other challenge is the migration trend. Due to the uncertainty of the Hong Kong political situation, the quality of living, and chances for personal development, there is an increasing amount of Hong Kong young talents who have decided to move to other countries such as the US, UK, Canada, etc. As the IT talents can apply their skills anywhere in the global IT industry as well as many countries offer favorable immigration policies to computer science or STEM professionals, they tend to have less concern than others to make the migration decision.
On the other hand, the demand for IT talents is also acutely rising. The urge for digital transformation for companies from different industries has rapidly escalated since the pandemic. Start-ups in new tech such as Crypto, NFT, Metaverse, Fintech, or Smart retail are also competing for Tech talents. Most of these companies require a large number of hands-on level engineers to help perform the digital transformation, and we foresee this trend will be long-term.
Working or schooling from home appears to be essential for COVID precaution policies, cloud service then becomes essential for companies that offer work-from-home resulting in high demand for both private cloud and public cloud services. A large number of cloud engineers are needed under the circumstances. In addition, people are relying on e-commerce and online banking business models more than ever. IT is no longer a cost center but becomes the essence of a profit center business and for the purpose of competing market shares.
Every factor shows that the gap for IT talent shortage becomes wider in order to fill the positions to keep up with the hasty development of the industry. In this guide, we will be looking into the trends affecting IT hiring, how employers can overcome the hiring difficulties, and salary increments in 2022.
Impacts On The IT Hiring From Digital Transformation Trends Of Different Industries #
The industries we will be covering are:
- Real Estate
- Event and Marketing
- Entertainment and Hospitality
For the construction industry, digital transformation is to implement technology to more efficiently manage workers and construction materials. Using AI facial recognition is a trend now to replace the traditional clock-in system. With the database of employees, it is easier to record the working hours of each employee and calculate the salary. As many of them may not be permanent employees, using facial recognition dispense the use of employee cards and provide more security to the construction site.
In terms of material management, image recognition technology is also the digital transformation trend in the construction industry. Using cameras and IoT to track the materials traveling in and out of the construction site is one way to use the technology. Image recognition technology helps build an intelligent building as well which will be further discussed in the next section.
Real Estate #
In the real estate industry, intelligent buildings are not only implying shopping malls but also residential buildings. Residential buildings are designed to improve efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and living standards by implementing eco-friendly and energy-efficient technologies – from hardware to software. It allows residents to remotely control everything in their home from lighting, airconditioner, to security devices through mobile applications. Some mobile apps are also designed to improve the convenience and user experience of the tenants by providing easy access to the booking system of the clubhouse facilities for example.
Same way for the commercial buildings. Intelligent commercial buildings implement AI image recognition to analyze the customer flow, age groups of customers, and customer behaviors to better understand their tenants and make use of the data in rent negotiation if necessary. By analyzing customers’ behaviors, the marketing team of the building can based on the data create events to target a specific group of customers. They can also plan strategies to achieve cross-sale opportunities by exposing ads and information on the products the customer is potentially interested in.
Smart buildings also allow maintenance and management teams to track the condition of the buildings more easily since they usually implement a real-time tracking system for the water and electricity, weather conditions, and software to manage elevators, cameras, sensors, etc.
Event and Marketing #
With the rise of social media and the metaverse, event and marketing strategies are shifting to the virtual and digital world. Especially under the effect of the pandemic, hosting offline events is nearly impossible, many companies have joined the new trend and hosted their events in the metaverse for the first time. Virtual events can be a fun way to enforce engagement if the whole event can be experienced over and over again in the metaverse. With the help of data collection, companies can analyze the attendees’ behavior from pre-event to post-event to further improve future events. Or they can analyze the event’s effectiveness to see the conversion rate for further engagement. In the future, people are likely to get used to experiencing different activities through virtual events. The way to perceive information from around the world is from the internet, it is an advantage to broaden our sights without actually needing to be present in a specific place but anywhere you like.
The digital transformation in the retail industry is moving fast from online shopping to unmanned stores. Advanced technology such as AI, machine learning, and computer vision are applied to the Amazon Go stores, and computer vision is most likely to be the main development focus in the future of unmanned stores. Leading e-commerce stores in Hong Kong have also started building their smart retail stores and leading FMCG and retailers are forced to compete in this space.
Another main digital transformation in the retail industry is warehouse management. Robotic systems, machine learning, and automation help the growth of efficiency of the warehouse. Drones and robots can help stock-taking more efficiently, also reducing the manpower needed. In addition, the whole logistics process taking advantage of automation and robot systems can reduce the time used and increase output.
The logistics process is one of the main focuses of digital transformation for the FMCG industry. Since FMCG contains perishable food, smart devices that can detect and control the humidity and temperature are necessary for efficient food logistics. Data analysis is also critical to optimizing supply chain management. Consumer spending for FMCG is changing from time to time. With data analysis, FMCG companies can make better and more precise decisions for their supply chain and build efficient logistics.
By analyzing customer behavior, FMCG companies can understand the customer needs to leverage customer relationship management (CRM), which can ultimately increase customer satisfaction and retain customers. Leveraging data analytics and Loyalty programmes to increase competitiveness for FMCG companies has been an ongoing trend that has pushed FMCG to retain competing candidates in software engineering and data analytics, architecture, and engineering areas.
Digitized services have been one of the trends of digital transformation in the insurance industry. There are more and more insurers providing online insurance services that customers could buy and claim their insurance directly online with a speedy transaction and seamless claiming process. AI, machine learning, deep learning, and robotic automation are implemented to provide personalized and fluid customer service. In addition, the technologies mentioned above can help improve investigation in fraud detection and risk management by tracking the customers’ behaviors with the cloud database. Transitioning to total virtual services such as opening insurance accounts to claims processing is the future trend in the insurance industry.
The banking industry is transitioning to the virtual banking service. There are quite a number of uprising virtual banks in the past few years, such as WeLab Bank, Mox Bank, ZA Bank, etc. With the advanced back-end technology, virtual banking providers are able to facilitate a seamless experience for customers while mitigating financial crime risks. To further improve the customers’ experience, analyzing the customers’ behavior with the database can more effectively and accurately offer the most suitable products to the customers.
Over the past 2 – 3 years, banks are pushed to invest in digital banking while there are 8 additional banking licenses issued. As virtual banks are expanding overseas and banks are expanding their digital transformation from digital banking to AML, chatbot, call center transformation, etc. The demand for banking tech talent keeps surging.
Entertainment and Hospitality #
Artificial Intelligence (AI) facial recognition is widely used in casinos to identify players and prevent criminal behaviors, however, the industry is also debating using this technology to identify potential “problem gamblers” or those gamblers whose behavior appears to be unhealthy or addictive tendencies that may harm their lives as well. The use of data, machine learning, and facial recognition could help operators to identify problem gamblers that may need professional help more quickly.
Facial recognition, data, and machine learning on the other hand can enhance the overall experience of the customers spending time in the casino and the hotel. By identifying the customer’s identification using facial recognition, data collection, and data analysis, the casino and hotel can provide customized service for the customer in favor of his/her preference. This includes digital check-in and check-out, robotic concierge, smart rooms connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. Utilizing these technologies, companies can effectively respond and interact with customers. In return, these will hopefully increase customer loyalty and improve customer engagement.
The airline industry has been actively transforming, yet, COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation. Utilizing innovative technologies to create a digitalized journey helps improve the safety, security, and passenger experience at the same time. The whole passenger processing flow is now contactless, streamlined, and self-serviced taking advantage of biometric technology, applications, and automation. Big data analytics is also implemented to help the service providers better understand the passenger behaviors, to cater to and provide tailored services to the passengers from pre-flight to post-flight experience.
Many airlines have developed their own mobile application for passengers to access
real-time flight information, check in online with virtual boarding passes, luggage tracking, and customize in-flight services such as meal preference, which can minimize food waste and costs. Some aircrafts also implemented intelligent cabins with sensors built into seats to monitor passengers’ tiredness, temperature, or hydration levels, automatically adapting the cabin environment or prompting the crew to take particular actions. Luxury services like airline lounges use AI technology to identify passengers with facial recognition at the entrance and provide tailored service with passenger data that increase the likelihood of customer loyalty.
There are similarities in the digital transformation of different industries, AI technology especially facial recognition, big data, software development, and cyber security are the main technologies that are implemented in the digital transformation. Talents in the above sectors are demanding for the industries, and with the specific skills that are on-trend now, the salary increment for these talents could be a lot higher than those without. If you would like to join the IT industry, these approaches would be good to start with.
Would like to know which programming languages are popular in the market? This article: 5種熱門程式語言分析助你變身搶手軟件工程師 will talk more in-depth.
New Trends and Prospects #
In 2021, NFT (non-fungible token) received public attention and the NFT market is rapidly growing, bringing the rising Blockchain technology even more popular. With the rapid growth of Blockchain, leading tech companies are striving for IT elites from around the world to be part of their Blockchain development team.
Another uprising tech trend is the metaverse. AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and mixed reality have been widely used in the video game industry but with the social VR world launched by Meta (formerly known as Facebook), virtual reality technology is now a major trend.
Under the new trends mentioned above, we can assure you that the IT industry has a bright prospect for 2022. For the Hong Kong market, many companies are under digital transformation and work/school from home is essential under the pandemic, Cloud Architects, Cyber Security Engineers, Software Engineers, etc are in great demand.
Hiring Trends #
According to The 2022-23 Budget by HKSAR, the government is investing over $5 billion to support the continuous growth in the innovative technology industry. The main focuses in The Budget are finance, arts, tourism, trade, aviation, agriculture, and investment promotion. Hong Kong’s ambition to become a technology hub drives increasing demand to support the rapid and continuous growth in the IT industry. Especially when digital transformation is playing such a big part, and new tech startups like crypto, and blockchain companies are rising, the demand for data scientists, data architects, software engineers, cybersecurity engineers, etc will never be fulfilled.
While the demand for digital talents is exceedingly high, the supply in the opposite is insufficient in the current IT industry. Due to the pandemic, international travel has been at a standstill, plus the travel bans and 21-day quarantine policy, has deeply affected the number of new foreign talents arriving in Hong Kong. Immigration Department statistics show that the total approved application for working visas in 2021 is only 13,821, and only 585 applications in the IT sector. Compared to the figure of 41,289 in total approval and 1,655 in the IT sector in 2019, the number of approved applications will be devastated in 2021. In the meantime, IT graduates with related skills in demand or senior talents with advanced skills are way less than enough to fill in the pool of the industry while Hong Kong talents are also being lured to other countries such as the UK, US, and Canada, with favorable immigration policies to tech professionals. Another pain point is how to fill the gap between fresh graduates and the demanded skills for the companies in need as technology develops rapidly. Local technology training institutions like Venturenix LAB are needed to help bridge the gap to provide training and development of current and potential talents and expand the talent pool of the industry.
With the rapid growth and long-term digital transformation trend, Hong Kong employers are facing a talent deficit, especially in the data science, cloud and cyber security, and software development areas.
The job positions are in high demand and have a high increment rate in 2022:
- Application Architect
- Cloud Engineer
- Cyber Security Engineer
- Data Architect
- Data Engineer
- Data Product
- Data Scientist
- Data Visualization Analyst
- DevSecOps Engineer / SRE Engineer
- Software Engineer
- UX/UI Designer
Application Architect #
An Application Architect is the overall IT planning and designer of the enterprise. They are in charge of all aspects of the business process, application, data, and technology of the company. Their day-to-day work includes designing the overall architecture, formulating business requirements, communicating, selecting solutions, evaluating technology strategies, and taking overall direction. A good application architect should have a high-level perspective, the ability to take a holistic view, in-depth industry business, and technical knowledge, and rich experience in developing and implementing IT projects.
The extreme shortage of qualified architects makes choosing an architect as a career promising for IT professionals. Application Architects who know how to use microservices, DevOps and with application security knowledge have more advantages than those who do not and are driving the increase in salary for the top 25% of the talent.
Cloud Engineer #
Cloud Engineer/Architect formulates and implements the company’s cloud strategy and is responsible for setup, maintenance and support of the cloud environment.
Companies from System integrators, vendors, in-house across industries are competing for cloud engineers/architects. Big corporations with a lot of legacy systems and at the same time migrating to cloud infrastructure would usually prefer someone with a Hybrid cloud, as well as someone with both private and public cloud experiences. Talents with these skill sets are leading the increases in the top 25% – 50% talents in this area. From cloud computing to cloud migration/deployment to cloud security, these are the hot skills for a cloud engineer to adapt to further expand his/her career path.
Cyber Security Engineer #
Cyber Security Engineers are always in high demand but under the effect of Covid-19, the demand is acutely rising. With the shift to working/schooling from home and the adoption of digital technologies in different industries, cyber incidents have gone up significantly in the last few months, and the Covid-19-related phishing and ransomware attacks are also continuously rising. New risks are found under the remote working/learning models enhancing the importance of real-time detection and response along with proactive prevention. Since there is a talent shortage in the Hong Kong IT industry, great opportunities are awaiting cyber security professionals with the right skills such as proficiency in security architecture, incidence response, IAM, etc.
Data Architect #
Data Architects are responsible for establishing and maintaining technical benchmarks for the company’s data quality and governance, as well as architecting the data platform to support the large volume and scale-up of the data team that matches the data analytics and AI adoption roadmap of the company.
Data Architects are required to be proficient in databases such as relational databases, data warehouses, and distributed storage systems. Knowing a variety of programming languages, and technologies associated with big data platform exposure/experiences such as Hadoop, and Spark would be extremely valuable. Obtaining skills in the database, data lakes, and architecture area would increase competitiveness.
Data Product (Manager) #
A Data Product Manager oversees the full lifecycle of how data is used within an organization. A data product manager defines goals for data that align with the broader organizational vision which needs to have excellent data insights. They are responsible for translating the requirements of large data initiatives into smaller, actionable pieces that can be delivered in increments and then working to allocate resources for each initiative. Also, they are the driver for conducting market assessments, mapping out data personas and consumer profiles, doing user interviews and testing, in addition to overseeing revenue modeling and pricing for data products and some would require leading the development of the products and therefore a comprehensive skill set across data insights, product development life cycle and business sense would be highly sought after in this group of talent.
Data Scientist #
Data Science is a new discipline that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Business Intelligence (BI), Machine Learning (ML) or robotic learning, and other disciplines in one. It is about the operation of the entire data pipeline, and every small part of it can affect the quality of the data, making useful data useless. The important responsibility of a Data Scientist is to maintain this pipeline to deal with the challenges brought by big data, and also deal with different types of data, being able to use the data to make predictions in real-time.
In the new normal, many organizations become more data-driven to analyze and utilize new customer behavior and to open up new revenue streams, there is no doubt that Data Scientists would not be one of the hottest, most demanded positions in the industry.
Data Visualization Analyst #
Data Visualization Analysts are responsible for creating graphs, infographics, charts, or other diagrams to present a large amount of data information in a way that is more understandable or easy to interpret and spot patterns, trends, and correlations. They are not only highly demanded in banks, software companies, consulting firms, telecommunications companies, retails, logistics/supply chain, and companies looking to make the decision with data would require this type of talent.
The biggest difference between a data visualization analyst and a data analyst is that a data visualization analyst uses visualization tools such as Tableau, Power BI, and SiSence, to build dashboards or create graphs for data analysts to provide insights based on the presentations. The common skills a data visualization analyst requires are knowledge of Python, SQL, and visualization tools such as Power BI and Tableau.
DevSecOps Engineer / SRE Engineer #
DevSecOps/SRE Engineer is responsible for cloud infrastructure, systems operation, automation, and service monitoring. They usually have a systems administration background and software development skills. They mainly help various stakeholders of the company focus on their core mission. Therefore, system architecture deployment and change management are their responsibilities, to achieve the goals. They also need to enhance the efficiency of systems and processes by capacity planning, configuration management, performance tuning, monitoring, and analysis. And they need to improve the on-call experience, tools, and procedures, including a comprehensive post-event process when an incident occurred. To increase personal competitiveness, obtaining skills in dockerization tools such as Kubernetes and a variety of CI/CD pipeline tools is recommended.
Software Engineer #
Software Engineering involves researching, designing, and developing software. Apart from that, code writing, code testing, and debugging are also responsible for Software Engineers. Software Engineering is subdivided into 3 parts, which are frontend, backend, and full-stack. The frontend engineer is mainly responsible for compiling the user interface, and the user experience needs to be considered at the same time. The backend engineer is responsible for writing commands to make the server respond, which the user cannot see, and building software databases. Full-stack is the combination of both frontend and backend work.
Software development does not rely heavily on academic knowledge but on technical skills and problem-solving abilities. To be a software engineer, one should have strong programming skills in some popular programming languages, such as Java, Node.js, React.js, and C#.
Learn how to become a software engineer in Hong Kong: How to Become a Software Engineer in Hong Kong | The Complete Guide
UX/UI Designer #
UX/UI Designer is responsible for both UX and UI design. For UX(User Experience), UX research and UX design are required responsibilities. UX design includes investigating users’ usage habits, behaviors, and ideas. Depending on the research and designing of the framework and processes of websites or applications, to ensure the operational processes are smooth and logical. For UI (User Interface), designers need to create efficient web pages or programs by enhancing the aesthetic design and operational convenience. Apart from the layout design, details like color, font type, font size, and button design also are important considerations for them, to present the key information well.
A degree in a design-related subject is not strictly required to be a UX/UI designer but more importantly to be familiar with the common tools in UX/UI design, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, and Sketch. One needs to be able to create user interfaces, software applications, or digital products. A portfolio of work presenting user-oriented designs is needed, which proves the ability to turn user preferences into creative solutions.
Salary Adjustment 2022 #
Increment Factors #
The salary increment for IT talents has not been affected by the pandemic, while some of the hot job titles even have an 8% or more increment rate in 2022. For these job titles, the main factor that affects the increment rate is the specific skills they obtained. See the below graph to see the hot skills by sector.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. The factors above are collected from the job ads listed on JobsDB, LinkedIn, and Venturenix – our recruitment services’ insight. Venturenix makes no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of this information is solely at your own risk.
Junior Level #
The overall differences in the minimum 25% and maximum 25% salary rate for the same job title can range from HKD$3,000 to $10,000 at all levels.
For junior positions, the increment rate range is larger than other levels since the demand for entry-level professionals significantly increased due to a deficit in the IT talent pool. However, the minimum 25% of entry-level positions have a lower increment than the maximum 25%. More and more talents transfer to the IT industry from other industries to seek long-term career development and a certain number of fresh graduates enter the IT industry every year, the increased amount of new IT talents lowers the cost of employment for the companies.
To explore stable junior IT talents such as software engineers, data scientists, and UX/UI designers, please visit our website for the Partner Trainee Programmes’ information. The selected candidates will receive high-quality training and be provided with financial incentives to serve our clients for at least 24 months.
Data-related positions have significant salary increments in the minimum 25% of mid-level due to the increased demand for the digital transformation trend, and the professionals with specific hot skills acquired are entitled to a higher salary increment.
Senior and Management Level #
Apart from the increment rate of data-related positions in mid-level having significantly increased, the overall increment rates for mid-level to management level look more stable compared to junior – middle level. The main reason is that high-level IT talents value the company’s investment in technologies more than salary increments, they seek long-term development and exciting challenges in the role; which is not able to be shown in the increment chart. Corporates are competing by showing their attractiveness and their spending in the technology field to solve the huge shortage of mid-level to senior-level IT talents.
The other reason is that the number of talents with more than 7 years of experience is not enough to cover the needs of the Hong Kong IT job market. There is a great chance that the company would not be able to hire another talent with equivalent experience to fill the role if a senior or management level employee left the company. The company would have to hire talent with less experience (less than 7 years) with a similar amount of salary budget, reflected in the infographic that there only has a minimum percentage of salary increment in the senior to management level.
Employers’ Challenges #
Employers in the IT industry have been facing the same challenges over the years; difficulty in hiring new talents and retaining existing employees.
New Talents #
There is a huge shortage in general of Tech talent, especially those with the hottest skillset. In order to recruit the best talent, a competitive and attractive package is necessary including but not limited to a competitive salary, genuine growth opportunities, flexible working hours and remote working. Apart from the package, the time spent on the whole recruitment process and the right platform to recruit the right talents are also critical factors affecting the efficiency of IT recruitment.
Especially in the IT industry, the long and slow process may lead to losing a potential candidate as they usually would have more than one job interview at the same time. We strongly recommend shortening and being creative with the recruitment process. Employers can also try to place booths or recruit through events instead of relying on the job boards. Hiring a specialized IT recruitment firm is also a great way to recruit the talents you are looking for. Specialized IT recruitment firms like Venturenix usually have a larger talent pool database and using their profession, they can match a perfect candidate for the right position for you.
Partnering with qualified IT training institutions can be easier for you to find a candidate for the designated position. With different programs the institution provides can also ensure the quality of the candidate and gain a predicted pipeline. Venturnix is now providing a Trainee Programme hoping to solve the hiring problem of junior IT professionals, please contact us to know more about.
Existing Talents #
The IT industry will be an employee-driven job market in 2022, it is important to understand what the employees need, what can attract them to stay, and what factors may drive them away.
Offering a prosperous career path, providing updated and advanced technologies, and providing training or upskilling chances, are some of the main factors employees take into consideration along with competitive salary to decide whether to stay in the company. These may seem to be basic, however, not many companies can actually accomplish the goal. Make sure to let your employees know that the work is meaningful and there are lots of opportunities with the company.
Retaining your current tech team is also more efficient than hiring from outside sources since experienced senior professionals with open opportunities are more difficult to find. Providing training and upskilling your current employees with trusted IT training institutions not only can help retain the employees but also build a positive image of the company and differentiate you from the competitors.
Venturenix & Venturenix LAB #
Venturenix is a dedicated IT, Digital, and Marketing recruitment firm in Hong Kong connecting global talents across a full range of IT opportunities. Our vision is to create a co-growth environment within the IT and Digital community. To achieve this, we have established our own training institute, Venturenix LAB which provides world-class technical training on the most in-demand skillset such as Software Engineering, Python with Machine Learning, DevOps, Blockchain, Security to accelerate the growth of the IT community. Our understanding of IT, Data, and Digital can put a whole new upgrade in your career. Get the job you didn’t know was waiting for you and have your career dreams realized.
Our Edge #
If you are looking for a recruitment partner who specializes in IT, Data & Digital markets, please feel free to try our service by submitting a vacancy. Being the only specialized IT recruitment firm that has its own Training services from software engineers level to Executive class in digital transformation, Venturenix is able to reach both active, passive, or even IT talents who are not in the market exploring opportunities at all.
In most cases, we are able to shortlist at least 3 qualified candidates profiles within 1 to 2 days who are currently in the market for the below positions due to the depth of our candidate database and the fact that we specialize only in IT, Data & Digital space where we do best.
IT Trainee Programme #
Venturenix’s Trainee Programme is designed for young potential talents to develop their professionalism in the IT industry. We are seeking excellent, potential, and passionate elites while only selected candidates will be on the programme.
If you are interested in applying for this programme, please visit our website, contact us or read this article [IT人才荒]Venturenix推軟件工程師培訓計劃招聘零經驗潛力人才 for more information.
If you are an employer and interested in partnering with us in the Trainee Programme, please feel free to contact us.
Venturenix LAB #
Venturenix Lab helps talents to pick up IT skills to transform into IT and helps IT talents to upskills. Our goal is to revamp the IT and Digital landscape by effectively matching both employers and IT talents.
We are an ever-growing community that is continuing to improve the job market with challenges to the supply of qualified talent. As IT is getting easier to use and deploy each year, we have the vision to do immersive training to fill the talent pool.