Led by a hiring spree at EY, Singaporean advisory professionals – particularly those with cyber security and financial crime skills – are the most in demand of all Big Four candidates in Singapore and Hong Kong combined, according to our analysis of Asian vacancies at Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.
We’ve scoured the Asian careers websites of the Big Four in Singapore and Hong Kong to find out where the jobs are by firm, market and across three broad divisions: advisory/consulting, audit/assurance and tax. We’ve concentrated on client-facing positions, so we’ve excluded graduate and shared-services vacancies.
As the first table below shows, if you want a job in an advisory unit of the Big Four right now, there are almost three times as many vacancies in Singapore as there are in Hong Kong (92 to 31).
Singapore trumps Hong Kong for advisory roles in all four firms – Deloitte, for example, currently has 18 openings in Singapore and only one in Hong Kong. Some of these are in financial advisory as the firm continues to hire people for its new Asia Pacific Financial Crime Strategy and Response Centre.
At 44, however, EY has the most advisory roles on offer in Singapore, including many in related areas such as cyber security, IT risk, information security and financial services risk.
Both EY and Deloitte are trying to tap an increase in demand for cyber security services, in particular from banks and other financial institutions. Last year the Singapore government set up a Cyber Security Agency to help tackle a growing cyber-attack threat in the city state.
While Big Four firms typically have their pick of candidates (Deloitte only hires 4% of applicants), it won't be entirely easy for them to find people for these security and risk-focused roles. The Big Four firms want similar cyber security staff to the banks and often poach from them, but as we reported last month there is a severe shortage of cyber security professionals in Singapore. Like the banks, the Big Four will need to offer generous salary increases and will need to consider overseas-based candidates.
In contrast to advisory, if you’re looking for a tax job at the Big Four, there’s no discernible difference between Hong Kong and Singapore, as the second chart below shows.
Hong Kong hosts more large corporations than Singapore and generally offers more jobs for auditors – right now it has 13 more audit roles than its southern rival.
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