HR Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
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Fresh graduates' salaries and job hunt mentality 2019


Based on the latest survey of 553 Hong Kong university graduates and undergraduates, the average starting salary of local fresh graduates is HK$16,892, 13% more than the 2017 average of HK$14,978.

More than half of the respondents (52%) expect to receive HK$16,000 per month at a maximum in their first job, aligning with the market sentiment.

Meanwhile, 18% of graduates are dissatisfied with their first job. Although their average salaries are higher (HK$14,280) than 2017’s HK$12,470, it is behind the average monthly salary of all fresh graduates and those who are satisfied with their first job (HK$17,472).

Salary and benefits and company environment, culture and reputation are the top two factors that determine graduates’ satisfaction.

Dream industry, job category and company nature

The ideal industry and job category are banking and financial services and accounting and finance respectively.

The majority prefer to work for multinational companies (35%), followed by the government (19%). Only 7% of respondents want to join start-ups, lower than China-based enterprises (8%).

Young aspiring professionals’ perceptions of securing a job

Thirty per cent of respondents went to four to five interviews before receiving their first job offer.

Interview performance (17%), attitude exhibited during the interview (14%), field of study, and the brand of the school were reflected by the graduates as the keys to landing a job.

Short-term aspirations

Fresh graduates’ five-year plans include reaching management level (22%), achieving short-term savings targets (18%) and living independently (15%).

Obtaining a property, the top target in 2016,  is no longer among the top three (9%).

Work ethic

Sixty three per cent of respondents plan to work straight after graduation, while 14% aspire to be part-timers or freelancers. Only 11% prefer to pursue further education.

An increasing number of respondents (14%) are not willing to work overtime, and 72% are only willing to work a maximum of six hours of overtime a week, a sharp rise since 2016 (1% and 57% respectively).

Not surprisingly, the most attractive benefits are flexible working hours (21%), early leave on festive days (14%) and early leave on Fridays (at least once a month) at 12%.

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