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97% of tech respondents in Hong Kong SAR said that they would switch their specialisation if they could restart their career, citing a preference to enter in-demand sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and data science.

With the new emerging technologies and digital transformation, the boom in technology jobs across all sectors in Hong Kong SAR and the demand for tech workers are apparent.

Commissioned by Randstad Hong Kong and independently conducted by YouGov, the 2021 Tech Talent Expectation Survey aims to highlight tech candidates’ perceptions of current recruitment practices and their views on the skills shortage in the technology sector.

ICT professionals are interested in emerging technology jobs such as AI if given the chance to restart their careers

Regarding skills gaps in the information communications and technology (ICT) sector, 52% of respondents ranked “AI, automation and robotics” as the top specialisation lacking in tech talent, followed by “cybersecurity” (35%) and “data science/analytics” (35%).

When asked which specialisation they would choose if they were to restart their careers, 24% of ICT respondents picked “AI, automation and robotics” as their top choice. This is followed by “data science/analytics” (19%) and “cybersecurity” (13%).

IT skills gap 2021
IT skills gap 2021

There may be greater interest in AI due to the increasing adoption of digital technologies and the widespread number of applications across industries, making it a promising and lasting career to venture into.

However, both employers and candidates have to build the necessary skills and capabilities to match their AI ambitions. As AI and big data are inextricably linked, tech employees need to ensure that they have sufficient big data development and management skills to fulfil the tasks and responsibilities of their role, as well as drive new innovation opportunities for the organisation.

Employers, especially those from non-tech industries, should remember that AI isn’t simply a plug-and-play technology with instant returns. Many companies, including leading ICT firms in Hong Kong SAR, are still just scraping the surface of what AI has to offer. IT companies will need to further invest in model development, data infrastructure, data expertise, and AI software to truly create implementable solutions for larger business problems, such as optimising the customer journey.

38% of young hong kong SAR tech workers reject job offers due to a poor candidate experience

Young tech workers are the most likely to accept job interviews. 38% of respondents aged 18 to 24 said that they accept interview requests 50% to 74% of the time.

However, 63% of young ICT professionals said they rejected job offers during the interview process because they did not have a positive impression of the hiring manager.

candidate expectations
candidate expectations

Respondents in this age group are more responsive to receiving new job opportunities as they have just started their careers.

However, they are also the most likely to reject job offers due to poor candidate experience during the recruitment process. Younger talent may be less averse to turning down offers as they tend to have a wide range of options to choose from. Young ICT professionals naturally have high-risk appetites compared to their counterparts from other age groups, given where they stand in their careers and lives.

As a result, it’s important for hiring managers to understand what young tech workers prioritise and promote the right benefits to entice them. Employers should develop standard interviewing procedures so hiring managers can clearly communicate job scope and team culture to candidates, and better understand and manage candidate expectations.

45% of ICT professionals want to work at western global enterprises

45% of all tech respondents picked Western global enterprises as their top choice of company to work for, followed by Asian global enterprises (30%).

3 in 5 ICT professionals said they will accept interview requests if the organisation offers an interesting project scope or opportunities to upskill. Their second-highest motivator for accepting interview requests was if the organisation is a reputable brand, indicating that candidates tend to feel more reassured working with companies whose brand values align with their personal interests.

To attract top tech professionals, employers need to highlight avenues for growth and upskilling, and reinforce their brand across every candidate touchpoint - from job advertisements through to the interview process.

Tech companies that regularly showcase their latest innovation projects may also be more likely to attract quality talent, as they are providing candidates with the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology. Hiring managers should find ways to meet the candidate's expectations and the new demands of the future workforce. Ultimately, by giving candidates a better understanding of their potential career progression during the interview, employers can better engage them and make them feel more valued.

technology talent expectations
technology talent expectations

download the tech talent expectations survey for more data.

The Tech Talent Expectations Survey was conducted in September 2021 across 3 markets in Asia Pacific with 306 respondents working in IT roles in Hong Kong SAR.

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