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The holidays are over and it’s time to get serious about your job search

Banks are gearing up for interviews in late February as the post-Chinese New Year hiring season gets into full swing. And recruiters agree that vacancy volumes will be higher than this time last year.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey subtracts the percentage of companies that predict a headcount decrease from those expecting a rise and produces a “net employment outlook”. For the “finance, insurance and real estate” sector in China the result is a healthy +44 per cent for Q1 2011, a figure which is 28 percentage points stronger than the same quarter last year.

Emma Charnock, regional director of Hays in China and Hong Kong, says the majority of candidates wait until receiving their bonus before changing jobs, which helps to explain the vibrant employment market.

Banks are also under pressure to hire candidates in the first half of the year to make sure they are able to achieve their annual budget from both headcount and financial perspectives, adds Charnock.

Another factor behind the positive recruitment outlook is that vacancies in second and third-tier cites are growing at a rapid rate. Hua Xia Bank, for example, is recruiting for more than 100 positions in its Nanjing branch, including branch managers, relationship managers and financial planners.

Kyle Qin, associate consultant, shfinder, says due to the tightening of lending policy this year, lots of banks are switching their hiring focus from internal operations roles to sales and relationship manager postions, which bring in more capital for the bank.

Charnock adds that candidates with a solid background in retail banking sales, corporate banking, trade finance and corporate loan products are in demand this quarter.

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