Despite the gloomy global economic outlook and a flat end to the year 2015, three out of five (60 percent) Hong Kong employees are optimistic about their employer’s performance next year, according to the recently released Randstad Q4 2015 Workmonitor.
However as 2015 draws to a close, Hong Kong’s slowing economy has dampened employees’ salary expectations, with half (51 percent) not expecting a bonus and four in 10 (40 percent) not anticipating a pay rise. This is well behind regional neighbours Singapore (69 and 62 percent respectively) and Malaysia (78 and 76 percent).
Michael Smith, Managing Director of Randstad Hong Kong, Malaysia & Singapore said, “Hong Kong employers are taking a cautious approach to their pay strategies in 2016, considering the current economic uncertainties and business challenges looming over Hong Kong. The projected base pay adjustment for 2016 is 3.8 percent on average.
“However, half of workers are still hopeful that next year will see an improvement in Hong Kong’s overall economic situation, mainly arising from new opportunities in the thriving IT and e-commerce sectors.”
Revenue from the Hong Kong e-commerce market is expected to see annual growth of 10.86 percent to 2020, with sectors such as retail stepping up their e-commerce efforts to capitalise on the trend and not lose out to foreign players.
“This is leading to widening skills gaps as the market tries to keep pace with the introduction of new technology solutions and growing consumer expectations across a wide range of industries,” Smith added.
See: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Talent Trends for 2016
The increasing demand for data and technically proficient roles and specialist skills is making employees more aware of the challenges their industries face. More than seven in 10 (73 percent) say that their employer currently has trouble finding the right talent, with 68 percent expecting this to get even more difficult in the future.
According to Randstad, one way to combat this is to provide more relevant training to attract and retain top talent. A majority (72 percent) of workers agree with this sentiment and want their employers to invest more in developing digital skills, which is also echoed in Singapore (80 percent) and Malaysia (84 percent).
“Increasing demand for digital skills has become a pressing issue amongst the workforce, not only in Hong Kong but across the region. While the majority (82 percent) of workers in Hong Kong feel equipped to deal with digitalization in their jobs, almost half (44 percent) feel that their jobs are at risk of being automated within the next decade,” Smith added.
Nonetheless, most employees remain unfazed when it comes to their job security for now. Only 8 per cent feel that they are under high risk of either losing their job or not having their contract extended in the next six months.
There is an opportunity for employers to provide further learning and development programs as part of talent attraction and retention strategies ahead of 2016 to ensure a stable technically proficient workforce.
“The first step is for a company to evaluate whether its learning and development programs currently help close the digital-IT-marketing skills gap—or whether they are just set up to do more of the same.” advised Smith.
Also read: Hong Kong’s Top Jobs in 2016, Revealed
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