The EY-DBS report, The Rise of FinTech in China, attributes the growth of the Fintech sector in the mainland as driven by multiple factors – “the scale of unmet needs being addressed by dominant technology leaders, combined with regulatory facilitation and easy access to capital. Underserved by China’s incumbent banking system, consumers and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly turning to alternative providers for access to payments, credit, investments, insurance, and even other non-financial service offerings.”
A consequence of this growth is a rising shortage of Fintech skills.
The China Fintech Employment 2018 Report by specialist recruitment firm, Michael Page China, revealed that 92% of fintech companies surveyed agreed that China is facing an acute shortage of professional fintech talent right now. In addition, 38% of respondents view the quality of talent as a critical factor to the sustained success in the industry.
Rupert Forster, Managing Director of Michael Page North and East China, says, “Within fintech, we are observing a growing demand for talent with skills relating to Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. These skills are also sought after in sectors outside of fintech, such as other Chinese Internet companies, creating a wider talent gap in the market.”
For those looking to hire fintech talent, 85% of surveyed employers expressed difficulty in finding the right people.
Forty-five percent cited shortage of necessary skills as the biggest hurdle. Fintech professionals know they are in demand with 47% stating they had changed jobs in the last 12 months.
What attracts Fintech professionals to switch? Top motivations include strong career path (29%), right company culture fit (24%) and salary (17%). Forty-four percent of those in it for the money say they expect salary increments ranging from 21 – 30% when securing a new job.
“The gap between employer demand for skills and the available talent is not a problem exclusive to Fintech. We see this across many sectors which is purely a reflection of the fast-growing, innovative nature of modern China. The most successful companies are those who are able to implement in-house talent development programs,” Forster explained.