Friday 21st December 2018

MARKET EYE – (In Review 2018) 

In 2018 and in contrast to recent years, Blacksquare experienced consistent and stable hiring demand throughout the year including traditional seasonal peaks and troughs. Whilst earlier years had hiring demand impacted by major political shocks, this year appeared not to waver by noise. Blacksquare was positive in all our core markets of Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Singapore with quarter on quarter growth.

Blacksquare continued to partner with some of  our Tier 1 Clients on high profile and discreet Executive searches. We enjoyed being able to bring this type of opportunity to our Talent network.

Mobility has been back in fashion with our Clients considering Global Talent for their niche requirements. This year we supported relocations from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, USA and UK.

Cyber Security demand in Cloud, Applications and Cyber Defence remains strong at an Engineering and Leadership level. APAC Region is investing and catching up with other locations in building its Intelligence lead Security & Risk capability.

With Innovation driving Technology across the market and with Hong Kong & Singapore slowly but surely opening to International Fintech disruptors 2019 is being set for an interesting year.

At boardroom, Cyber Security is now fixed as a key business risk. With this C-level attention the step can only be forward in building Intelligence, Awareness, Defence and Risk capability. Blacksquare remains at front of market and well positioned to support both Permanent and Consultant hiring in this area.

Follow us on twitter at blacksq_apac or keep an eye on for latest jobs or to keep in tune with the market.

MARKET EYE – (In Review 2017)

Monday 18th December 2017

Taking a quick look back on the year and one eye forward to 2018 we hope this provides an interesting snapshot into our market.

2017 hiring started slowly as previous years Marco-Economic events settled. The years first half hiring came in waves followed by periods of quiet; stop, start, stop…

Industry Polls showed Hong Kong & Singapore tussled for top spot to be Asia’s most attractive location for “Senior & Executive Talent”, Hong Kong edged the win.

Change at Regional Head Offices in Hong Kong, one major FSI dispersed and others took a more surgical approach to hiring by looking at alternative Asia countries to build technology scale. We have seen Malaysia and Philippines benefiting from these trends.

“Cyber Arm’s race continues”, as they did in 2017, organisations in 2018 will continue to invest and reshape their defences. As Innovation and adoption of new technology through start-up ecosystems thrives the Cyber Teams will be busy assessing and remediating to align to governance & control standards. Asia regulatory demand will also continue to be an in market driving force.

Through 2018 we anticipate greater consistency of hiring. Holding visibility of upcoming hiring demand along with more balanced market conditions we believe Talent will feel more assured and confident in engaging job searches. This will mean, new roles and greater candidate mobility.

Across the FSI sector, 2017 saw a number of changes at Regional CEO level. We will be working to keep close to what these changes mean for any new direction and supporting hiring agenda’s.

For us at Blacksquare we enjoyed 2017. A year that had us deliver Regional Search solutions in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. We were proudly awarded multiple exclusive Searches that allowed us to further strengthen our Client partnerships. Looking forward, we hope to continue to build on this successful year with eye’s on a new office launch in 2018, more to follow…

Follow us on twitter at blacksq_apac or keep an eye on latest jobs to keep in tune with the market.



Seasonal breaks of Christmas, Chinese New Year and Global Financial market volatility released the steam that 2015 closed out with. In contrast to the previous three months, Q1 was a period of slow-motion hiring with many of our Clients pausing whilst volatility settled and Bonus period passed.

Through the quieter start of Q1 we saw an uptick in Consulting demand with Blacksquare beingengaged on several Security Consulting assignments running between 6-12 months. With activity returning in Mid-March Blacksquare is now supporting open Searches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Recent discussion in Hong Kong has centered allot around Regulators and their attention towards how they plan to specifically govern Cyber Security standards. If Cyber Security wasn’t already high on agenda the Regulators plan to drive an agenda to ensure it will be throughout 2016 and beyond.

In summary;

-       Permanent hiring slow early on in Q1

-       Uptick in Security Consulting assignments

-       Blacksquare engages in Searches across Region

-       Regulators giving ever more attention towards Cyber Security

We welcome you to contact us for further market information or confidential discussion at OR follow us on Twitter at blacksq_apac for real-time market insight.

4th Quarter 2015




With a sprint to the finish-line 2015 was brought to a close. Hiring activity for Blacksquare carried right through December with our Clients showing apetite to have assignments complete before year-end. A positive finish to 2015 gives us allot of confidence market conditions will remain active going into early 2016.

Conversations with our Candidate market has also been active with some great Talent looking for new 2016 challenges.

As consistent demand for Cyber-Security & Risk professionals remains, we are seeing Clients become more flexible again towards considering oversees Talent who are currently located outside Asia-Pacific. This is starting to be matched by a greater number of candidates also considering relocation based on career opportunity. We expect there to be greater candidate mobility through 2016 and our Clients to support this.

Blacksquare proudly wona number of Exclusive Search assignments during Q4, testament towards being recognised as a front-runner in the APAC Cyber-Security & Risk market. We look forward to building upon this success and our Client & Candidate partnerships as we go into 2016.

Roles & domains in demand for Q1 2016;

-       Regional Leadership roles in Technology Risk

-       Programme and Project Managers of IT Security initiatives

-       Technology Audit Managers across Applications & Infrastructure

We welcome you to contact us for further market information or confidential discussion at OR follow us on Twitter @blacksq_apac for real-time market insight.

>> Click here for a PDF version of this report.


Blacksquare market eye q3 2015

With Q3 in the rear view mirror and end of year approaching, Q4 looks set to promise high activity. Here at Blacksquare we are seeing positive demand for Risk professionals to work in Technology Governance roles across Asia-Pacific. Specifically recent demand has been for Risk professionals with a Technical foundation built in career history. In addition, requirement to effectively communicate and influence remains a high priority in our client engagements.

Broadly across all industry sectors we are receiving positive year-end signs for hiring in the area’s of Cyber Security & Risk. The trend remains firm within our Banking clients but also sectors outside show new signs of investment. At a time when “everyone is a target” improving companies Security & Risk posture is high on business agenda along with ability to answer; do we have appropriate preparation for response after incident..?

Now with year-end bonus consideration upon us, moving into Q4, Permanent hiring continues to drive demand across Blacksquare’s Search Practice. We do not expect this demand to change but we anticipate increase in Consulting engagement for Security Project resource to deliver business change OR implementation of niche Security Technology.

In summary;

-       Active Year end hiring for Technology Governance & Risk professionals

-       Technical foundation and effective communication skills sit high on Client priority

-       Newly created roles in Cyber Threat & Intelligence

-       Blacksquare’s Search Practice sees positive hiring demand

We welcome you to contact us for further market information or confidential discussion at OR follow us on Twitter @blacksq_apac for real-time market insight.

>> Click here for a PDF version of this report.