Are you Lean Six Sigma Qualified? Why the Finance Industry Needs You

Written by Gordon Kwong

Change and transformation roles in Hong Kong have been increasingly popular in Hong Kong’s financial services sector over the past few years, as institutions continually strive to make cost savings. More recently we have seen a rise in the number of Lean Six Sigma roles as change and transformation functions are being brought in-house. Lean Six Sigma has been long used in the commerce sector as it has its foundation in making process efficiencies. Today’s banks and financial services organisations in Hong Kong are now fully on board with the concept and are beginning to see real value in building dedicated in-house teams rather than outsourcing to costly management consultancy firms.

As the talent pool plays catch up, there is a shortage of professionals with exactly the right fit. Finding a Lean Six Sigma certified black belt with financial services experience in Hong Kong is incredibly challenging. Green and yellow belt certified are more easily sourced as employers are realising the value of recruiting from the commerce sector and investing in training up.

Job seekers are in a strong position of they do have the right credentials. For those that have change and transformation experience already, the training and certification process for Lean Six Sigma is relatively straight forward and will greatly enhance their chance of securing a great role. In addition to opening up opportunities, Lean Six Sigma qualified professionals can expect to earn a more competitive salary and find that their experience is transferable across industry sectors more easily. The qualification provides the validation organisations need to be sure the changes implemented to adhere to the strict quality assurances demanded by governments or industry bodies. 

There is also a pay difference between a master black belt and a black belt, so even once a blackbelt secures a role, further training can be advantageous from a career perspective. A master black belt can easily work on a consultancy or freelance basis and command a much higher salary in the long run.

In the current cost conscious market we expect to see more Lean Six Sigma roles, these positions can either be focused on the particular business of the bank or the overall bank as a whole. We have seen a number of roles come to market in the retail banking sector, where the focus has been on improving the customer experience, which is the crux of Lean Six Sigma. Typically, a qualified Lean Six Sigma Business Consultant has been tasked with reviewing each and every touch point the bank has with its customers and evaluating how processes and procedure can be improved, waste can be cut and performance enhanced to provide an easy and amicable service. This could be as simple as decreasing waiting times in branches right across to educating customers on the technology available to them that make their more routine and transactional requests quickly resolved. 

Gordon Kwong is the Associate Director with Aquis Search. Kindly contact Gordon via LinkedIn or on to have a confidential discussion.