Two out of three Hong Kongers are likely or very likely to change jobs in the next 12 months, according to findings from The 2016 Michael Page Greater China Employee Intentions Report.
When asked for the top reasons for their intent to change jobs, the lack of career progression (58%) topped the list.
This was closely followed by seeking a new challenge (52%) and then stagnant remuneration (36%).
“In Hong Kong, people tend to move out of a role even when they are only slightly unhappy because there are plenty of alternatives, with unemployment being low,” said Sharmini Wainwright, managing director Michael Page and Page Personnel, Hong Kong.
This is a cause for concern for employers, who therefore need to concentrate on stimulating their best talent.
Within Hong Kong however, companies are already on their way to innovating their approach to retention and attraction.
Changes to HR policy such as shortening working hours from 9am-6pm to 9am-5pm and offering opportunities to grow via development programmes and educational sponsorships have proved very popular.
“Employees feel they are spending too much time in the workplace and employers risk losing their best talent if they do not increase the longevity and variety of work-life balance initiatives,” said Wainwright.
According to the report, the number one benefit that professionals want is flexible working hours.
Approximately half of the surveyed respondents say that flexibility in their working hours would be a benefit they would like to see introduced, whilst for only 20% already a benefit they receive.
The second key area identified was extended leave.
A significant proportion of Hong Kong (31%) professionals said that a greater leave allowance would be welcomed by them, while only 8% say it is a benefit they already receive.
Training budgets were also cited in the report as an area of concern.
Over a third (35%) of Hong Kong-based professionals said the introduction of training budgets would make them more satisfied in their jobs.
However, only 19% receive this benefit currently.
Besides training opportunities, the report found money still plays a major role among professionals.
More than seven out of 10 (71%) of employees voted salary gains as the most important thing they look for in a new job.
Almost a third of respondents in Hong Kong said that company brand reputation was an important consideration when looking at new opportunities.
Some local job seekers, however, are not yet aware of the difference between brand reputation and employer branding.
For instance, some of the big retail brands moving to Hong Kong and Mainland China are considered good consumer brands but they have a reputation for falling short of having solid employer brands.
This year, 51% of the surveyed professionals also said they wanted to work overseas, slightly down from 55% last year.
This can be partially explained by the low tax rates and easy-going lifestyle that Hong Kong inhabitants currently enjoy; combined with the high tax rates in Mainland China.
The report was based on the survey responses of 1,733 employees in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Respondents came from various sectors including finance, accounting, banking, engineering, manufacturing, human resources and many others.