The job market in China is expected to stay fairly buoyant for the final months of 2010, with banks seeking staff in a number of functions.
Cherol Cheuk, director at Hudson Global Resources Shanghai says although the overall pace of hiring is slowing down slightly, fourth-quarter demand is still strong in functions such as risk, compliance, credit, relationship management and product sales.
Bank employees are traditionally reluctant to change jobs during the current quarter for fear of losing bonuses owed to them by their existing employer. But this year the impact of forthcoming bonuses on Q4 candidate movement is somewhat muted.
“It certainly will affect things a bit, but it won’t cause job hoppers to be less busy because buyers are willing to give sign-on bonus to get the right candidates,” says Shearer Liu, banking consultant, Talent 2 Beijing.
Cheuk agrees: “For the very good ones and those in urgently needed positions, employers will buy out the candidate.”
Mostly foreign banks are willing to offer bonuses guaranteed to match what candidates would have received at their old firm, but only for middle and high-level roles.
“It may not be 100 per cent as bonus payout day is usually in the first quarter of the following year. But the next employer will at least cover a portion of it,” says Cheuk.
Retention, not just recruitment is also an issue in Q4. Because the talent pool within the banking industry is small, banks – especially Chinese ones – are building “fences” to retain professionals by using various methods such as promotions and updated bonus schemes, says Liu.