In Hong Kong SAR, 45% of employees would rather be jobless than feel unhappy at work. 

Younger professionals are more likely to feel this way, as having fulfilling and meaningful careers become more important to Hongkongers. 62% of Gen Zers aged 18 to 24 agreed that they would rather be unemployed than be in a job that made them feel unhappy. 

GenZ workplace expectation
GenZ workplace expectation

Randstad released the results of their latest Workmonitor survey in Hong Kong SAR. The bi-annual survey highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.

The attention given to career fulfilment was majorly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, where people took the opportunity to reflect over the meaning of their work and what they could do on an individual level amidst global economic struggles.

Employees would rather have the opportunity to work in a company that they enjoy working for, instead of a job that makes them feel frustrated and dejected.

It is hence why companies that offer a good work-life balance, good career progression and an inclusive and supportive organisational culture are very attractive to job seekers. This is especially true when Hongkongers are constantly looking to develop their careers while still having enough ‘me-time’ to do the things they enjoy outside of work. 

55% of hongkongers said that their personal life is more important than their work life

More than 2 in 5 respondents working in Hong Kong SAR said that they have once quit their jobs because it did not fit with their personal life, 10% higher than the global average.

48% of Hongkongers said that they would resign from their jobs if their jobs prevented them from enjoying their lives.

Glancing at the pandemic that is far from over, employees have had to endure additional responsibilities while working from home. Some employees have clocked unnecessary overtime due to the blurring of boundaries between work and personal time, while others have been working on additional projects to meet increasing business expectations.

Furthermore, travel bans have also made it difficult for Hongkongers to escape from work. Without a real escape from work to another country, it’s challenging for employees to feel a real sense of relief.

The ability to offer a proper work-life balance and fair compensation is essential for companies to retain talent in Hong Kong SAR. Companies have to be aware that Hongkongers want to feel valued for their work contributions as well as be able to find a purpose in the city. 

Overworking employees without fair compensation would create dissatisfaction, which would encourage them to start thinking about switching employers so that they can have a better work-life balance or take a step closer to their career goals.

Disengaged employees are also more likely to share their negative experiences with their friends and family, as well as on social media. These actions that they take and the words that they say can harm the company’s employer brand and corporate reputation, which would hinder the company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

52% of hongkongers said that it is likely that they will stay with their current employer - 8% lower than the global average

48% of Hongkongers said that it’s not likely for them to stay with their current employers. In comparison, 13% of respondents from mainland China shared the same sentiment.

Respondents in Singapore, on the other hand, are more likely than Hongkongers to stay with their employers, with 43% saying that they will do so.

To counter the Great Resignation and employees from taking advantage of the growing number of new job opportunities in the market, companies are investing in their staff’s development and job satisfaction in an effort to retain them.

Respondents in Hong Kong SAR said that they are happy that their employers provided an increase in flexibility in the following areas:

employees are happy that their employers offered

flexibility in working location 39%
flexibility in working hours
pay raise

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated future work trends. There is more consideration now being given to remote working options and the accommodation of work-life needs. It is now more important than ever for employers to start offering flexible work options to their employees, be it work from anywhere or anytime. 

As the city slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and opens up, Hongkongers will be attracted to new job opportunities in the Greater Bay Area as well as overseas markets like Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom. 

If companies want to successfully attract and retain talent in Hong Kong SAR, they’ll need to understand new labour market trends and talent expectations in work-life balance, employee benefits, salary as well as career development. 

employers provided insufficient upskilling and development opportunities

Although 61% of respondents in Hong Kong SAR said that training and development is important to them, only 15% of respondents received such training from their employers. 

Despite the company’s efforts and commitment, there still remains a gap when it comes to upskilling and development in the workforce.

two things to invest on hat could close skill gap
two things to invest on hat could close skill gap

top 3 training programmes hongkongers want

technical skills 56%
soft skills
career development in current role

Hongkongers seek to develop their soft and technical skills so that they can maintain their competitiveness in the market and have more employment options to choose from - especially in growth sectors like technology, e-commerce and digital banking. 

Having in-demand skills and being agile also ensure that they will always have a place with the organisation, which makes them feel that they have long-term job security and financial stability if they continue working with their employer. 

Companies are able to drive higher productivity and increase overall fulfilment among the workforce through human capital investment and workforce development. Employers that are willing to invest in their workforce development are also more likely to retain their workforce as well as attract job seekers who seek development opportunities and purpose in their careers to value-add to the company. 

gain deeper insights into the hongkong workforce

The latest 2022 Randstad Workmonitor study was conducted between 21 February 2022 and 13 March 2022 with 1,000 locally-based respondents who are employed and aged between 18 and 67 years old in Hong Kong SAR. 

An organisation’s ability to attract and retain highly-skilled talent depends on their agility to meet changing talent expectations. Randstad conducts workforce research regularly to keep pace with the changes, complemented by the in-depth insights from our local recruitment specialists across key industry functions in Hong Kong SAR like banking and financial services, accounting and finance, life sciences, property development, manufacturing and supply chain, technology and more.

Get in touch with us and we’ll connect you with a specialist for the latest unique market insights or to take a brief for your hiring needs.

download the latest H1 2022 workmonitor survey report.

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