HONG KONG SAR, 3 JUNE 2019 – Close to 2 in 5 respondents (39%) are willing to forfeit more than one-tenth of their salaries in exchange for job security, according to the 2019 Employer Brand Research report released by Randstad Hong Kong today.

Randstad - one of the largest human resource solutions agencies - today released the findings of its annual Employer Brand Research in Hong Kong SAR. Commissioned by Randstad, the independent employer brand study explores the factors that influence employees and job seekers in their search for a new career.

Natellie Sun, Managing Director at Randstad Hong Kong said, “This is the seventh year that the Employer Brand Research has been conducted in Hong Kong SAR. The results gathered from our study have been very consistent over the years and they indicate the areas where companies need to develop strategies to improve their talent acquisition and employee engagement programmes.”

job security is top-of-mind for workers in hong kong SAR

In Hong Kong SAR, our research found that 39% of respondents are willing to give up at least one-tenth of their salary in exchange for job security. This is 10% more than the Asia Pacific’s average (29%), highlighting the importance of secured employment to the local working population.


job security
job security

Furthermore, job security is ranked the third most important EVP (employee value proposition) in the eyes of a local employee. Close to 1 in 2 respondents (43%) look for an ideal employer that can guarantee permanent employment. 

“Employees and job seekers across all ages are acutely aware of the impact that business restructuring and digital transformation projects could potentially have on their jobs. The last thing any employee want is to be made redundant because of factors that are beyond their control, especially if they have just gone through a tedious job search process. Employers need to be transparent about the company’s ability to provide training to ensure that their people have the relevant skills to remain employed.” Sun added.

salary and benefits still most important factor for workers

‘Salary and benefits’ remained as the most important factor that job seekers look for in an ideal employer, followed closely by work-life balance. 

Workers based in Hong Kong SAR are also more conscious about a company’s financial health, which is typically a strong indicator of whether the organisation is a good paymaster. When looking for an ideal employer to work for, 37% of respondents ranked a company’s financial stability as one of the most important attributes.

EVP factors employees consider an ideal employer

  1. attractive salary & benefits (59%)
  2. good work-life balance (58%) 
  3. job security (43%) 
  4. company’s financial health (37%) 
  5. career progression (33%) 

Sun explained, “A company that reports good financial performance is seen to be able to offer better salary packages, bigger bonuses and are more likely to invest in the development and well-being of their staff. Therefore, people will almost always prefer to work for a company that is financially stable instead of one that might be facing financial woes.” 

multi-channel approach necessary for successful talent attraction

Job seekers in Hong Kong SAR tend to gravitate towards using online channels to either gather more information about their ideal employers or seek new career opportunities. Online channels such as job portals and search engines provide job seekers with the basic information that typically include the company’s presence in the city, a brief overview of the job scope and the type of qualifications that applicants should have.

top 5 channels used to look for a job

  1. job portals (56%) 
  2. recruiters (49%) 
  3. company’s career site (30%)
  4. personal connections or referrals (26%) 
  5. LinkedIn (25%) 

Recruiters are the second most popular channel that people used to look for a new job. The research found that 49% of respondents have sought the counsel of a recruitment consultants when looking for a job and 34% had successfully found a new job in 2018 because of a recruiter. 

This highlights that job seekers value the personal connection with the recruitment specialists, as they are often the first point of human touch and interaction for candidates before they secure a face-to-face interview with their potential employer. 

“There is a limit as to how much information companies can share on their job advertisements and websites. Employers often receive thousands of applications from each advertisement, which will inevitably lengthen the recruitment process. Specialised recruiters not only have a thorough understanding of the talent landscape, they can also evaluate the candidate’s personality and skills to ensure the best fit for the organisation and team in a shorter period of time.” Sun added. 

When searching for a new job, 91% of respondents use various channels to evaluate a company’s corporate reputation. Out of which, 46% of respondents study the company’s reputation through the information shared on its website. Social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn tend to be more popular channels for the Millennials and Generation Z. On the other hand, Generation X and Baby Boomers are more likely to reach out to their established professional network to get insights on a company’s working culture and benefit schemes. 

Note - please refer to the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2019 Hong Kong SAR Report on the research’s definition and categorisation of the four generations. 

top 5 channels used to check a company’s reputation 

  1. company’s website (46%) 
  2. opinions of friends and family (35%) 
  3. online articles (31%) 
  4. Facebook (30%) 
  5. job boards (29%) 

“While job boards are still considered the primary source for job seekers, other digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Google for Jobs are fast gaining popularity, especially among the youths. Companies that want to attract younger workers need to constantly update their website and social media pages with the latest information, as it can influence a candidate’s decision to apply for a job. Employers can also use photos and videos of their employees to showcase the company’s culture and attract others who have similar values,” Sun concluded.

The 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research provides a unique understanding of employee and job seeker drivers. The survey is the most representative and independent employer brand research in the world, reaching out to more than 200,000 respondents across 32 markets, including 3,731 workers based in Hong Kong SAR.

about randstad employer brand research

Celebrating its 19th edition globally, the awards based on the outcome of the Randstad Employer Brand Research are presented each year to the most attractive employers in 32 markets across the globe. It is the most representative and inclusive employer brand research in the world.

The outcomes are based on public perception and focus on two main areas: overall brand awareness and absolute attractiveness. This creates a level playing field for all of the commercial companies. The awards are not open for nomination and the results are based solely on the opinions of the local workforce – making it the only award that is truly representing ‘the people’s choice’.

A list of the largest commercial companies (based on the number of employees) is presented to a representative cross-section of respondents based on region, age and gender. The respondents were asked to identify companies whose name they recognise and indicate to what extent they would like to work for them. This was then followed up with an evaluation of employee value proposition drivers, such as salary and benefits, work atmosphere, job content and more, for each of the commercial companies surveyed.

about randstad

Randstad is the global leader in the HR services industry. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential. We do this by combining the power of today’s technology with our passion for people. We call it Human Forward.

Our services range from regular temporary staffing and permanent placements to in-house services, professionals, and hr solutions, including recruitment process outsourcing, managed services programs and outplacement. Randstad is active in 38 markets around the world and has top-three positions in almost half of these. In 2018, Randstad had on average 38,820 corporate employees and 4,826 branches and Inhouse locations. In 2018, Randstad generated revenue of € 23.8 billion and holds the world’s number one position in its industry since November 2018. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded.

Hear what our leaders have to say about #HumanForward or head over to our new website and learn more about our Human Forward brand promise.

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