Alarming Skills Shortages in Hong Kong

March 23, 20167:35 am719 views

A recent report by Hays mentioned that Hong Kong’s employers worried skills shortages could impact their business. In fact, a massive 96 per cent of employers in Asia believe skills shortages have the potential to impact the effective operation of their business or department this year. A further 34 per cent believe they don’t have the talent they need right now to meet current business objectives, according to findings in the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

The survey of more than 3,000 employers, representing over six million employees, found that the most difficult professionals to recruit in the current market are accountancy & finance candidates to fill both entry to middle management roles and middle management roles. Sales professionals at both these levels are almost as hard to find (please see below table).

Sourcing the right middle management engineering, IT, marketing, operations and HR talent is also a challenge.

See: Hong Kong’s Top Jobs in 2016, Revealed

Percentage of employers who find it difficult to recruit the following professionals:


In skill short areas, 65 per cent of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified expatriate/overseas candidate.

Other actions considered to counter areas of skills shortage including up-skilling existing staff (49 per cent) and improving attraction strategies (41 per cent).

“We know from the findings of the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide that many candidates across Asia have itchy feet so employers will need to take action to keep hard-to-replace talent, as well as develop stronger attraction strategies to maintain a pipeline in areas of shortage,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

“Our survey reveals 44 per cent of candidates are already actively looking for a job while a further 42 per cent are open to hearing about a new opportunity.”

“Having the right people in place is critical to navigating economic conditions in 2016 especially for the 60 per cent of employers that told us they are expecting an increased level of business activity this year.

“For Hong Kong’s job seekers, doing your research is critical to securing a job that offers the opportunity to develop new skills and grow professionally. Salary is important but our Guide shows many employers are taking a cautious approach to remuneration in 2016 making it critical for candidates to not only manage their salary expectations but also to look for other benefits that will add to their personal bottom line over the long term,” Christine said.

See also: The Key Reason Employees in Hong Kong Leave a Job

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