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Hong Kong employment outlook 2019


Randstad’s annual market outlook report has forecast the market and workforce trends in Hong Kong for the upcoming year.

With the unemployment rate remaining below 3% in 2018, the lowest in more than 20 years, workers took the opportunity to switch employers to benefit from better compensation and benefit packages.

Despite the ongoing US-China trade conflict, businesses and workers appear to be more prepared for the market changes this time. In 2019, the market is expected to grow between 3% and 4%, a positive growth trajectory that is welcomed by local businesses.

Employers are expected to offer a conducive office environment, cool digital tools and an office culture that helps employees advance in their careers.

The average salary increase for professionals looking to switch jobs will be around 10%, lower than the average last year. Candidates with expertise in the technology and fintech sector can expect a salary increment of up to 30%.

Upskilling and future-proofing the workforce are on top of employers and the government’s agenda. New and in-demand roles that are key to driving innovation and digital integration can be found in asset management, fintech, data analytics and cybersecurity.

Possessing strong commercial acumen, good communication skills and language skills such as proficiency in English and Mandarin have become a critical asset for job seekers.

Big trends in human resources 

Modern recruitment systems will continue to assist Hong Kong employers to source the best talent, hire as per cultural fit and offer a seamless and positive experience to candidates and employees.

Management teams will demonstrate strong interest in HR transformation projects and initiatives such as increasing investment in digital HR solutions and people analytics to boost workplace productivity and future-proof their workforce.

Employees will be 2019’s other focus. Learning and development leaders will play a significant role in defining values, processes and practices around talent development to increase performance and competencies. Implementation and support of online training platforms with a demonstrated ability to foster work culture that encourages continuous learning will be prevalent.

Senior HR candidates will be responsible for driving digitisation, organisational restructuring and key transformation programmes. Digital acumen and experience in stakeholder management, change management and project management will be highly sought after among senior HR candidates.

There will also be a steady demand for professionals with strong business partnering skills who are well-versed in niche areas such as developing multiplex compensation and benefits structures and building a strong employer brand.

For those who are looking for new career opportunities they can expect salary increments between 10% and 15%. During peak seasons, and in light of special roles that require highly sought-after competencies such as change management, the salary increase can be up to 20%.

Junior hiring will mainly be replacement hires unlike senior roles where there is a grossing headcount already budgeted for. As Gen Y and Gen Z enter the workforce, junior HR staff have shown an average tenure of one to two years within an organisation.

Salary overview

Other highlights and employment trends to look out for in 2019

Accounting and finance: a headcount increase for specialised roles in financial planning and analysis, tax and treasury; a decrease in demand for generalists roles such as transaction and accounting candidates

Banking and financial services: regional banks will continue to grow as international firms take a back seat; steady wealth management and asset management; banks will catch up on digital offerings after the market moderates.

Construction property and engineering: growing opportunities in China; a larger focus on retainers and projects in Hong Kong

ALSO READ HR salary forecast for 2019

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