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Hiring pace to remain stable in 2024, with talent shortage still a challenge

Hiring pace to remain stable in 2024, with talent shortage still a challenge

With a shrinking talent pool, employers are reconfiguring their benefits offerings to secure top talent.

Despite the net employment outlook expecting to remain positive in the first quarter of 2024, employers around the world still face difficulties in finding sufficiently qualified candidates amidst the challenge of a talent shortage, according to the latest edition of the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Having surveyed 40,077 employers in 41 countries and regions, employers continue to anticipate a measured hiring pace in the first quarter, with the net employment outlook standing at +26%.

India and the Netherlands are seeing the strongest hiring intentions at 37%, followed by Costa Rica (35%), the US (35%) and Mexico (34%).

Hiring expectations for January – March in the Asia Pacific region:

  • India – 37%
  • China – 33%
  • Australia – 29%
  • Hong Kong – 29%
  • Singapore – 29%
  • Taiwan – 19%
  • Japan – 10%

Zooming into Hong Kong, of the 525 employers surveyed, two in five (44%) expect an increase in payrolls, 40% forecast no change, 15% anticipate a decrease, and 1% are unsure. After being adjusted for seasonal variation, the employment outlook stands at +29%.

The most optimistic sector in Hong Kong is the communication services sector (+63%), followed by the transport, logistics & automotive sector (+34%), and the information technology sector (+32%).

Talent shortage is still plaguing the world

The talent shortage remains a challenge for global employers to fill open roles, with the biggest impact being felt in Japan (85%).

Top 5 skills global employers report most difficulty finding are those related to:

  1. IT & data
  2. Engineering
  3. Sales & marketing
  4. Operations & logistics
  5. Manufacturing & production

With the shrinking talent pool, employers are reconfiguring their benefits offered to secure top talent. Approaches anticipated to be taken by Hong Kong employers include increasing wages (39%), offering more flexibility (33%), and offering joining bonuses (32%).

When planning their strategic HR priorities for the new year, Hong Kong employers reported that the threat of recession and recruiting skilled workers are impacting their plans most, even more than the AI transition.

On the other hand, as sustainability takes centre stage, Hong Kong employers estimated that all technical skills will have to change at least by 55% to accommodate more sustainable practices since the current sustainability skills are the least adequate for the green transition.

ALSO READ: What benefits (other than salary) are employees looking for?

Lead image / ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

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