Brain drain: More than half of professionals surveyed are considering leaving Hong Kong

Brain drain: More than half of professionals surveyed are considering leaving Hong Kong


Those who are planning to move abroad are already looking for a position in a multinational company or applying for overseas jobs.

The city may need to work harder to retain talent, as a recent survey has found that over half of Hong Kong professionals are considering or planning to move out of the city.

Conducted by Robert Walters Hong Kong, the survey showed that 15.6% of those surveyed expressed a desire to move as soon as possible, while 36.7% were considering a move in the next three to five years.

A whopping 96% of professionals who are planning to move overseas have already undertaken tactics to prepare for working abroad. The most popular tactic amongst these professionals was to look for a position in a multinational company, with 60% of the respondents opting for this.

On the other hand, 40% of those respondents who consider leaving the city are already applying for overseas jobs. Close to one in three (31%) had started their plan by upskilling, training, or studying. Others are looking for internal mobility opportunities (27%) and to switch careers altogether (27%).

Among those who plan to work abroad, 51% are aged between 27 and 42 (Millennials), and 38% are 43-58 years old (Gen X).

Interestingly, when asked what they valued most in their career, 31% of respondents who are considering working abroad chose job security over compensation & benefits (29%) as their first priority.

Besides job security and compensation & benefits, professionals care most about career progression, team culture, and then, internal mobility, which are considered essential for their personal and professional growth.

John Mullally, Managing Director at Robert Walters Hong Kong, believes it is important for employers to understand the expectations of their employees in order to retain their top talent, especially during times of economic uncertainties.

“On the positive side, it is impressive to see professionals' desire to gain international exposure in today's globalised and competitive world. This can help them develop a broader vision, a stronger determination, and a richer network, which are valuable assets for any business," he added.

The poll was conducted among 107 Hong Kong professionals across various specialisations: accounting & finance, engineering & property, financial services, healthcare, human resources, legal & compliance, sales & marketing, supply chain, logistics & procurement, and tech & transformation.

Image / Shutterstock

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