HONG KONG- The first half of 2015 has seen a slight increase in recruitment activity across a number of industry sectors compared to 2014. However in general the employment market has remained relatively stable. A steady Hong Kong economy, which grew modestly in the first quarter of 2015, confidence in global markets, and positive sentiment surrounding the Hong Kong stock market has meant that employers are positive around hiring for the rest of the year and job-seekers are open and willing to consider new opportunities.
However, global economic and political issues continue to affect the employment market with concerns around the speed of US economic recovery, Greece’s debt negotiations and geopolitical risks surrounding Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. These factors, coupled with the mainland economy and other Asian economies facing varying degrees of growth slowdown, means that we expect the employment market to remain steady and employers will still remain cautious when it comes to hiring for the rest of the year.
Retention: Top of the Agenda
This year, employers have focused heavily on staff retention. Experienced and high calibre professionals are in high demand, and in many sectors within Hong Kong there remains a shortage of qualified talent. Besides salary increases and performance based incentives, focusing on creating an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) including a positive culture, rewarding career opportunities and competitive remuneration packages remained high on many employers’ agendas.
Diversity, Inclusion & Flexible Working
With the retention of existing staff a top priority, many organisations in 2015 are placing a greater emphasis on initiatives around increasing the diversity of their workforce, inclusion and creating a more flexible workplace. Driven by an increasing focus on work life balance amongst professionals in Hong Kong, such initiatives have shown to increase employee engagement and retention. We expect talent retention and attraction to become even more challenging and important for the rest of 2015 and organisations need to continue to create innovative strategies to attract and retain their best talent.
Contracting Market Growing
Demand for contracting professionals, especially across the Banking and Technology sectors has remained high in 2015. It is often regarded as a win-win situation for both employers and job seekers, not only as a solution to headcount constraints or acquiring additional resources for a key project, but also as a “try before you buy” solution for both parties.