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According to Robert Half’s 2021 salary guide, 80% of Hong Kong employees want to work remotely at least one day a week post-pandemic.

The report also revealed that many companies (especially SMEs) are not yet set up for flexible working, as they are currently not able to invest in the right technology. However, flexible remains a benefit high on the list of employees – in particular in-demand talent.

Human Resources own straw poll supports this, with two-thirds (64%) of Hong Kong companies considering, or having implemented, hybrid working on a permanent basis.

Also read: HSBC and Goldman Sachs take different approach to hybrid working model

“With an expected ongoing shift to hybrid working patterns in 2021, flexibility will be increasing crucial to staying competitive in the market. Businesses that don’t adapt to new ways of working will likely struggle to attract key talent, while they risk losing star employees to the competition,” the report stated.

In other findings, more than half (51%) of Hong Kong traditional banks and 38% of virtual banks have formed strategic partnerships with fintech startups.

The report, which focuses on salary trends in the financial services, accounting and IT industries, found that the trend is being driven by financial institutions’ need to make their services more cost-effective and to adapt to customers increasing reliance on e-commerce.

Unsurprisingly, it’s candidates with experience in system implementation, system upgrades, data analytics tools, AI, cyber-security and data architecture that are highest demand.

However, this in-demand pool of talent has high expectations from prospective employers – with corporate culture at the top of the list.

“Candidates are focusing more on corporate culture – particularly the company’s stability, the morale of the working environment and how the organisation reacts to sudden change,” the report stated.

“In this context, employers need to realise that to attract and retain top talent, they need to prioritise strategies that demonstrate their ability to support staff wellbeing through difficult and unpredictable times,” the report concluded.