Apart from high pay, the report suggested an all-rounded employer brand strategy is the key to attracting top-tier local and global talent.
Along with the reopening of borders as well as the resumption of normal social and economic activities, Hong Kong's recruitment scene is expected to be driven by a fiercer competition for talent, according to the latest report by Randstad.
In response to the shrinking local pool due to the talent exodus, companies in Hong Kong have hence entered a fiercer price war, with some offering unprecedented salary increases to secure highly skilled workers.
According to a preliminary survey conducted by Randstad Hong Kong, one in four (25%) of respondents said that they expect a minimum salary increment of between 10% and 15% when they switch jobs in 2023. Another 18% of respondents want a minimum pay raise of up to 20% when switching employers next year.
To manage the increasing cost of living, 35% surveyed said that they expect their employers to adjust and increase their salary by 5% to 10%.
When asked about the bonus they expect to receive for their work done in 2022, more than a quarter (29%) said that they hope to receive equal or less than one month of payout, and another 34% said that they should receive a bonus of between one and three months.
However, amidst the ever-shifting economic climate and the hiking inflation, businesses may find themselves in a dilemma in balancing the expectations of the company and talent.
Benjamin Elms, Managing Director at Randstad Hong Kong suggested employers step up their game in offering alternative benefits. “Today’s talent may be attracted to a high salary and bonus as these meet their immediate financial needs and offer them a sense of stability,” he said. "However, if your company does not provide them with a sense of belonging, they will jump straight to the next highest bidder without any second thought.”
To help employers better understand their current position compared with market benchmarks, Randstad Hong Kong has also detailed key market trends across different industries, and compiled a salary snapshot as a guiding reference.
Here are key takeaways for some industries:
HR and business support industry
- Compensation and benefits professionals are in high demand to make recommendations on employee benefits and salary benchmarks.
- Digital talent with strong IT knowledge and in-depth quantitative and analytical skills would be highly sought-after to resolve challenges in people-related business functions.
- When switching jobs in 2023, middle-management HR professionals are expecting to receive a 10% to 25% salary increment, and will also negotiate for other benefits.
- Most of the HR professionals surveyed want it all - competitive salary offering, flexible work benefits and a manageable workload.
Banking and financial services industry
- Seeing a further tightening in the job market in 2023, not only is the number of job opportunities exceeding the talent supply, but candidates are also more hesitant to change jobs because of the poorer economic climate.
- Companies are adjusting their salary benchmarks to retain their staff and attract new talent with the necessary skills. Some financial institutions are offering a 20% to 25% salary increment to secure top-tier talent. For some highly sought-after talent, specifically with analytical and technical skills, these salary increments can be as high as 30%.
- To retain employees, firms are expected to offer a two-month bonus pay-outs as well as flex benefits, new technology devices and hybrid work.
- Automation and digital banking have led to the creation of more high-value jobs within the front office space in the banking industry with fewer job takers.
- Employers from wealth management and financial services companies, along with private and retail banks have sought alternative solutions to fill the talent gap, such as hiring from adjacent industries and training them to fulfil roles within the mass-affluent relationship management.
- In the face of a severe shortage of middle office and operations talent, employers are offering more contract roles to quickly onboard talent to ensure business continuity while still providing flexibility to the business.
- Demand for data privacy lawyers, corporate transactional lawyers and litigation lawyers from in-house corporates are emerging.
- The consistent demand for legal talent within the banking and financial services industry will persist in 2023 with 3 key hires, which are lawyers who code, wealth and private banks, as well as green financing.
- Recruitment activities within the private practices in 2023 continue to focus on fund lawyers, onshore and offshore lawyers as well as paralegals.
- In-demand legal practitioners who may negotiate for additional privileges like sign-on bonuses or a senior job title on top of a 15% pay increment in 2023.
- Legal professionals are also evaluating the company’s stability and commitment to Hong Kong SAR, potential career development opportunities, as well as work-life flexibility benefits to employees.
- For tech professionals, the longevity of their job is more important than novelty. There is a greater interest in more stable IT verticals and industries as they provide tech talent the opportunity to work with skilled and experienced teams to deepen their capabilities.
- Great demand for crucial and evergreen roles and industries, such as cybersecurity, DevOps, banktech and fintech.
- Top three in-demand IT talent in 2023 are mobile applications developers, data science professionals, and cyber risk & compliance professionals.
- Tech employees who shift jobs can expect salary increments of 20% to 30% when switching employers. While those who remain to stay with their current employers can expect to receive a two to three months bonus.
- Due to pandemic-related demands such as longer working hours and heavier workloads, tech professionals are increasingly prioritising a healthy work-life balance.
Sales, marketing and communications industry
- Talent with hybrid creative and analytical skills as well as experience and capabilities in using business intelligence and analytical tools will be highly sought-after.
- Employees who choose to stay with their current employer in 2023 will receive a 3% to 8% salary increment, which is higher than the previous year (3% to 5%).
- Professionals who are switching employers are expecting to receive a 10% to 30% pay increase in 2023, depending on the relevancy of their skills and experience.
- New remuneration financial schemes include quarterly commissions for marketing professionals, limited-period guaranteed commissions for frontline employees, and even equity-related benefits.