50% of respondents in Hong Kong SAR said that they struggle to acquire new skills to adapt to the pandemic in their current jobs. According to the second edition of the semi-annual Workmonitor survey released by Randstad Hong Kong today, 52% of respondents in Asia Pacific share the same sentiment, 12-point higher than the global average.
The Randstad Workmonitor survey highlights the greatest concerns and challenges candidates are facing in the employment market. The survey was conducted in October across 34 markets around the world, with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market.
the workforce needs to be prepared for the future
12% of respondents said that they are afraid of losing their jobs. This is 5-point higher than in mainland China. Yet, the survey revealed that Hongkongers are the least likely in the region to upskill to future-proof their employability.
25% of respondents do not refresh their skills and competencies regularly. Only 8% of mainland China respondents do not take the initiative to learn new skills or to upskill regularly.
The post-COVID-19 work situation will never be the same as pre-COVID-19 times. Digital transformation is forcing companies to change their business models and has significantly changed the way traditional industries do business.
Banks and financial institutions have developed more online products and services. Companies in supply chains, manufacturing and logistics have started looking into automation and robotics, while retail firms and restaurants shifted to e-commerce platforms.
This has a direct impact on the workforce as the fundamental knowledge and skills required for these new solutions, such as digital skills, are different from what the existing workforce is equipped with. To close the skills gap, employees must proactively upskill and re-skill themselves to ensure they stay relevant and employable. They should learn to adapt to change and be more prepared for whatever crisis that may arise in the future.
employers and employees share the responsibility to upskill and re-skill
73% of respondents are confident that they have the transferable soft skills required to find a job at a different company or industry. This is also the lowest in the region. In Mainland China, 94% felt comfortable that they have the skills, and 86% of respondents in Singapore said the same.
51% of respondents said that the responsibility for keeping their skills and competencies up to date should be shared between the employer and employees. More than one in four respondents said that the responsibility lies on their employers.
While businesses favour the benefits that digital transformation brings, some talent may be left behind as their skills are no longer required in the new normal. The widening skills gap will also have a long-term impact on the workforce.
As the eligible talent pool starts shrinking, companies may have to offer higher salaries to attract qualified candidates. There is a critical need to develop our human capital with a focus on upskilling and re-skilling to ensure that everyone has an equal chance at employment, which will eventually lead to more investments and job opportunities in Hong Kong SAR.
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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.
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 if you want to know more about what’s happening in your space.