China Execs Face Uphill Battle Recruiting Staff To Drive Digitisation - PwC Report

Nearly 80 per cent of business executives in China find it “very difficult” to recruit creative and innovative staff, according to new data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, potentially hindering the nation's efforts to become a global financial technology powerhouse.

As part of its 20th annual CEO survey, the Big Four firm interviewed more than 1,300 executives from 79 countries across a range of industries. The China segment of the report represents the views of 182 executives based in China and Hong Kong, and out of the respondents, 67 per cent work in financial services.

PwC finds that 60 per cent of executives in China and Hong Kong intend to increase their firms' headcounts in the next year. However, 85 per cent say they are worried about the availability of key skills and 79 per cent say they find it “somewhat” or “very difficult” to recruit creative and innovative people.

Considering PwC says that companies in China are “leading the world” in technology adoption to capture economic benefits, some may find it staggering that executives are struggling to find suitable employees to drive digitisation efforts.

Although the nation appears to have a strong desire for digital advancement, executives in China have “serious concerns” over cybersecurity and data breaches. To mitigate cyber risks and sustain stakeholder trust, companies should implement enhanced digital security measures, PwC suggests.

Revelations of China's executives' worries about data breaches come as wealth managers, family offices and financial services institutions worldwide are increasingly citing similar concerns amid a surge in industry digitisation.

Earlier this year, a survey of wealth managers conducted by Lark, an insurance broker that specialises in the financial services sector, found that cyber risks topped the list of UK wealth managers' concerns.

In December last year, Singapore's financial watchdog joined forces with a membership organisation in a bid to step up its efforts to combat cybercrime.

Source: welathbriefingasia

Nick Kalikajaros 2017