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Randstad - the world’s leading human resources solutions agency - today released the results of their H2 2021 Workmonitor survey in Hong Kong SAR. The bi-annual survey highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.

salary is the most important factor when choosing a career
salary is the most important factor when choosing a career

having good compensation and benefits is valued higher than a meaningful and caring work environment

Non-financial employee benefits such as working for a respected and caring employer or a friendly environment are rarely considered by Hongkongers when it comes to making a career decision.

top 5 most important factors driving job seekers' career choices:

Compensation and benefits 73%
Job flexibility to accommodate my commitments outside of work 41%
Job with a manageable stress level 40%
Career growth opportunities 34%
Working in a safe environment 33%

In Hong Kong SAR, 73% of respondents deem compensation and benefits as the most important consideration driving their career choices.

As for the factors driving their career choices, while 73% of respondents prioritise compensation and benefits as the most crucial, only 30% deem working for a respected and caring employer as an important consideration. 29% of respondents care about having meaningful work and only 13% consider the work environment as a factor when making career decisions.

Culturally, employees in Greater China are more focused on fulfilling what’s expected from them at work rather than building friendly relationships with their colleagues. Although Hongkongers are not adverse to a friendlier working environment, the pressures of society and the rising cost of living has Hongkongers prioritising salary over other employee benefits.

It is rather evident that a majority of Hongkongers are attracted to competitive salaries to cope with the increasing cost of living in Hong Kong SAR.

hongkongers are the least happy about working with current employers in asia pacific

56% of respondents reported feeling unsatisfied working for their current employers and 36% have changed jobs between March and September 2021.

64% of respondents feel unfairly and insufficiently rewarded for their current skill sets and are motivated to look for another job. If given the opportunity, 65% of respondents would consider a role from a company outside of Hong Kong SAR if they don’t need to relocate. This view is more pronounced among youths, with 69% of respondents aged between 18 to 24 open to the opportunity. Compared to the mature professionals who are more settled in their careers, the younger generations are more likely to take the leap of faith to work in companies that are outside their comfort zones for better exposure, culture and diversity.

why hongkongers switch jobs
why hongkongers switch jobs

Many employees have chosen to remain with their employers for job and income security during the pandemic. However, we are seeing a quick shift since late-2021 when companies started to hire for new headcount as part of their expansion plans. Job seekers who are motivated by a high salary will feel a strong desire to take advantage of the new job market movements and switch employers in 2022.

a catch-22 situation: hongkongers hope to be able to have autonomy at work, but they feel constrained by societal expectations

More than 8 in 10 respondents said that the experience of the pandemic made them want more flexibility in their job and career. However, when considering their career choices, only 15% of respondents are motivated by remote work options.

The small percentage of respondents who are attracted to remote work options likely want to break from the traditional work ethics such as presenteeism and OT working culture in Hong Kong SAR. While the pandemic has demonstrated that remote working is possible, the implementation of hybrid workplace models remains a low priority for Hongkongers as they believe that they may lose out on the salary increment or promotion if they are not seen by their bosses in the office. Furthermore, the space constraints at home are not conducive enough for Hongkongers to perform their jobs, pushing most to return to the office.

Despite the workforce’s general reluctance to work from home, employers should still do their best to create a safe and friendly environment for their workforce by providing a better work-life balance and clear flexible work arrangements as much as they can. This can help alleviate some of the societal pressures and healthcare concerns that employees are experiencing, as well as reduce some of the “push factors” that would normally motivate an employee to look for a new employer.”

about randstad workmonitor

Randstad conducts the Workmonitor survey to explore the changes in candidates’ expectations and challenges twice a year to help employers manage their talent attraction and employee engagement strategies.

Digital literacy is a very important skill that many employers like you look for in job seekers. Offering employees the option to work remotely can help attract more digital-savvy talent who shares your values to join your organisation. Hybrid work, when done right, can develop a more productive, happier and healthier workforce.

Besides Workmonitor surveys, our recruitment consultants at Randstad Hong Kong regularly prepare market maps and surveys to keep ourselves up-to-date with the latest talent movements and workforce trends. Connect with us for specialised talent recruitment services or to strengthen your employer brand.

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