Having arrived in the second half of 2017, recruitment firm Links International looked back on the state of Hong Kong's recruitment market in the first half of the year. Below are some of the company's reflections on four of the city's main industries, as well as a brief look at what the future might bring.
Human resources & administration
- Job flow was quieter in comparison to the first half of 2016, particularly in the early part of Q1, as employees are less open to change and employers are hesitant to hire support functions
- The challenge with regards to junior positions remained: employers want top quality candidates for lower salaries than the traditional market rate offered
- Compared to last year, more candidates are rejecting offers or undergoing buy-back situations
- Experienced HR candidates found it difficult to look for new roles in the relatively quiet market
- Employers requested immediately available candidates more often than previous years, but often make them wait to buy time for preferred internal referrals or potential internal candidates
Sales & marketing
- Job flow increased by around 10% compared with the first half of 2016
- Candidates have been cautious, not feeling positive and looking to remain in more stable environments
- Hot recruitment areas were in operations and digital marketing, followed by relationship management and key account management in the lifestyle sector
- Going forward, there may be a shortage of candidates, as they remain reluctant to move despite the market picking up
Banking & financial services
- There were redundancies/retrenchments of mid-level management, as firms look to take out an expensive layer of management and promote from within
- There were fewer roles at VP and director level than in the past few years, with organisations preferring to hire top quality AVPs who can grow into the VPs of the future
- Going forward, more hires from The Chinese investment banks are to be expected since they now occupy a number of the top spots on the league tables.
Temporary & contract
- Hot areas for recruitment so far were in compliance, KYC and onboarding, although these areas were not quite as active as in 2016
- The amount of available junior accounting and marketing roles in the commercial sectors increased
- Candidates think the market is picking up, but are still somewhat hesitant to change jobs, as they remain concerned about contract duration, since the market is still not very active
- Going forward, the availability of roles is forecast to continue to increase in Q3
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