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A comprehensive series of just-published reports from JobsDB, Decoding global talent: Ultimate guide to work trends 2021, has given a snapshot of employment trends in Hong Kong, in light of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

In summary, five key recommendations for the emerging virtual talent pool are:

#1. Legal & regulatory challenges
Set up a specialised team for global insurance and payroll. Employ gig workers.

#2. Pay disparity
Do away with a one-size-fits-all pay scale. Compensation should be in line with the company brand and values – and merit.

#3. Varying time zones
Shift towards asynchronous communication (not time sensitive). Encourage a culture of writing and documenting.

#4. Unequal data protection standards
Review data handling practices and increase training in cross-border data protection.

#5 Cultural differences
Take advantage of a trial period to ensure the suitability of foreign employees (But be mindful of the need to provide an inclusive environment).

Preferred destination to work and live

In other findings of the report, mobility has also seen a significant shift from Hong Kongers over the past 12–15 months – most notably in the preferred destination countries.

For the first time in eight years, the United States is no longer the most desired destination. It has been replaced by Canada, followed very closely by Australia. These countries are also English speaking, but are perceived as safer, with better social systems, having better managed Covid (Australia in particular), and being more welcoming to immigrants (especially Canada).

chart 5 jobsdb country reorder

However, Hong Kongers are now less willing to go overseas. In 2014, almost two-thirds (63.8%) were willing to go abroad for work – but this drop to just 50.3% in 2020.

chart 2 jobsdb abroad appeal decline

While the top 10 preferred countries to work abroad were all revealed to be either in Asia or English speaking, with Taiwan topping the list of destinations.

chart 2 jobsdb attractiveness abroad

Interestingly, of the 23 sectors surveyed in Hong Kong, those with a HR role were the least likely to leave Hong Kong. Just over a third of HR professionals were willing to relocate (35%), with those working in art and creative work (67%), and those in manual work and manufacturing (75%) the most likely.
   
chart 1 jobsdb leaving hk hr