18 FEBRUARY 2020, HONG KONG SAR – According to the results from the Randstad’s Workmonitor Q4 2019 survey, 69 percent of Hongkongers expect the economic situation to further deteriorate in 2020. Less than half of respondents (48 percent) expect their employers to perform better in 2020, than in 2019.
Natellie Sun, Managing Director of Search and Selection in Greater China at Randstad said, “The local workforce is aware of the negative impacts that the global trade war and local unrests have on the business environment and employment rate.
Even so, Hong Kong retains its position as the regional hub for many finance and technology companies, and there are still many unexplored opportunities for businesses to grow through investments and innovation. Hong Kong will also continue to benefit significantly from its highly resilient and diverse workforce. When more people keep their faith in the business environment, the economy will continue to persevere and prosper.”
Even though the year-on-year gross domestic product decreased by 1.2 percent in 2019, many Hongkongers are still expecting pay raises and bonuses. Sixty-three percent of respondents expect to receive a pay raise and 61 percent want to receive a one-time bonus at the end of their fiscal year.
Sun adds, “Hongkongers are very competitive in nature. Job titles and salaries are very important to local employees, as these elements are seen as a direct measurement of how well they are doing compared to their peers. A factor contributing to the high bonus expectations could also be from staff in customer-facing roles, who were instructed to take unpaid leave as a result of the local protests. This group of workers are hoping their employers could compensate them for their loss of income through a one-time bonus.”
One in three respondents (33 percent) had changed employers in the past six months. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that they are looking for another job. Out of which, eight percent are actively looking for a new opportunity.
“Even as Hong Kong is expected to enter a period of recession in 2020 and with the COVID-19 outbreak, we have not yet observed a significant dip in hiring activities in quarter one. Hongkongers typically start looking for jobs after the Lunar New Year, with most of them securing jobs and working in their new role by April. While some professionals will choose to prioritise job security over a new opportunity with another employer, the results from Workmonitor indicate a sustained appetite to change jobs.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have also seen more companies replace face-to-face interviews with video or phone interviews. However, face-to-face interviews are essential when building relationships in Asian culture, and the lack of human interaction could significantly slow down the hiring process. Employers would still want to meet with the potential employee to ascertain culture and personality fit before making an offer,” Sun shares.
The Randstad Workmonitor 2019 Q4 survey was conducted from 22 October until 6 November 2019.
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