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Hong Kong’s 2024 hiring and salary trends

Hong Kong’s 2024 hiring and salary trends

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Demand for talents with specific in-demand skillsets and experience remains high, while hiring stays conservative across industries this year.

Amidst macroeconomic uncertainties, organisations in Hong Kong will be maintaining a cautious approach to talent recruitment, with a narrowing focus on those with specific in-demand skillsets and experience, according to the latest report by Randstad.

Largely fuelled by investments and digital transformation, the report indicated that talent demand for professionals specialising in artificial intelligence, data analytics and cybersecurity will remain high, notably in key industries such as banking and financial services, healthcare, supply chain and technology.

The increasing use of technology has also cast a spotlight on the importance of data management. This will drive demand for services related to data protection and data analytics across various functions spanning consulting, marketing, sales and human resources.

However, a consequential challenge arising from the evolving job market is the potential for a skills mismatch among job seekers. 

“The rapid pace of technological advancement and shifting industry demands have created a gap between the skills equipped by job seekers and those sought by employers,” said Benjamin Elms, Managing Director at Randstad Hong Kong.

Continuous upskilling and reskilling, therefore, are expected to be high on the employers’ agenda to ensure that the workforce remains aligned with the evolving needs of the job market. However, according to the Randstad Hong Kong 2023 Employer Brand Research, even though 77% of Hongkongers said that upskilling is important, less than half (48%) received learning opportunities.

While employers have been shifting their hiring focus, it is equally important for them to understand the changing expectations of talent, who “want more than a wage and are seeking more work-life balance, learning opportunities and a sense of belonging”, said Elms.

To provide better insight into the 2024 job market, Randstad Hong Kong has detailed specific talent trends and expectations in specific industries, and compiled a salary guide for both employers' and employees’ reference.

Here are key takeaways for some industries.


HR and business support industry

  • Employers will be looking for individuals with strong technical skills, as well as digital competencies and experience using HR and workforce management systems.
  • Soft skills remain equally important, with an emphasis on strong people skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Anticipate a surge in demand for roles in the areas of human resource information systems (HRIS) and learning & development (L&D), as companies continue to value robust and highly-specialised HR teams to drive change in their organisations.
  • Companies favoured human resources professionals whose monthly salary ranges between HK$20,000 and HK$55,000 for middle-management positions. Skilled talent from this category looking for jobs in the market would have a variety of options and can expect the highest pay raises.
  • Many companies are relocating their regional hubs to mainland China and emerging markets like Vietnam. Consequently, the inflow of talent is predominantly from mainland China, with fewer professionals moving from Western countries.
  • The average annual salary increments for talent looking to switch employers within the human resources and business support industry in 2024 is expected to be around 10% to 12%. The demand for talent in payroll is expected to rise, with individuals in these roles potentially seeing up to a 50% increment when changing jobs.
  • Apart from salary, HR and business support professionals highly value job security and work flexibility, including work from home options.

Salary guide

 low
med
high
HR director in financial services
HK$80,000
HK$120,000
HK$140,000
Organisational development manager in financial services
HK$45,000
HK$55,000
HK$65,000
HR manager (HR operation focus) in commerce
HK$40,000
HK$55,000
HK$65,000
Payroll manager (local) in commerce
HK$30,000
HK$40,000
HK$55,000
Office manager
HK$35,000
HK$48,000
HK$65,000

Banking and financial services industry

  • The overall market condition points to a highly replacement-driven market, marked by conservative cost-saving measures across the banking industry.
  • Employers will set high expectations for candidates, seeking experienced talent with a proven track record in lead and revenue generation, as well as talent with a deep understanding of evolving regulations to create opportunities for growth or cost conservation.
  • A high demand for talent in anti-money laundering (AML), IT audit, treasury audit, as well as asset and liability management.
  • Companies in Hong Kong are facing pressure to meet ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, prompting new interest and investment in sustainability and green financing, and leading to new job roles in ESG risk management and compliance.

Salary guide

 1 - 3 years
3 - 6 years
7 - 10 years
10+ years
Investment consultant in retail banking
HK$38,000 - HK$65,000
HK$50,000 - HK$65,000
HK$65,000 - HK$85,500
HK$85,000+
Senior relationship manager / relationship manager in commercial banking
HK$28,000 - HK$40,000
HK$35,000 - HK$60,000
HK$50,000 - HK$75,000
HK$60,000+
Private banking client services officer
HK$35,000 - HK$45,000
HK$45,000 - HK$55,000
HK$55,000 - HK$65,000
HK$65,000+
Regulatory compliance
HK$30,000 - HK$45,000
HK$45,000 - HK$65,000
HK$65,000 - HK$100,000
HK$100,000+
IT audit
HK$25,000 - HK$40,000
HK$40,000 - HK$65,000
HK$65,000 - HK$90,000
HK$100,000+

Retail & luxury and sales & marketing industry

  • A surge in the demand for talent in customer relationship management (CRM) as well as data management and analytics to drive online sales. Omnichannel operations talent will also be in high demand as retailers strive to provide a seamless shopping experience across multiple platforms.
  • Companies in Hong Kong are aligning their capabilities with the increased business demands from mainland China. Chinese brands expanding in Hong Kong also seek professionals who are familiar with digital marketing platforms like Baidu (百度) and Xiao Hong Shu (小红书).
  • Employees seeking new opportunities in 2024 prioritise companies with positive reputations, valuing those with ethical business practices, strong work cultures and a commitment to employee wellbeing. Work-life balance and professional growth are also a key consideration.
  • Job switchers are also negotiating for higher base salaries and lower commissions as they shift their priorities to income stability.
  • Well-networked and experienced sales and marketing professionals are seeking a 25% to 30% raise on their basic salary, especially in high-growth industries like insurance, tourism and hospitality as well as e-commerce.

Salary guide

 low
med
high
Sales director
HK$60,000 + comms
HK$80,000 + comms
HK$110,000 + comms
Digital marketing manager
HK$45,000
HK$60,000
HK$75,000
Event manager
HK$30,000
HK$40,000
HK$50,000
Customer service executive
HK$14,000
HK$16,000
HK$18,000
Business development manager
HK$25,000
HK$36,000
HK$45,000

Legal industry

  • Hong Kong-based legal professionals are self-seeking qualifications to practise law in the Greater Bay Area, indicating a strategic move towards upskilling to work on regional projects.
  • A corresponding growing talent demand for legal professionals knowledgeable in the technology department, particularly from large banks as well as the technology and telecommunication companies. Experienced attorneys equipped with a foundational understanding of the digital landscape, who are proficient in contract negotiations and can collaborate with in-house technology teams, are in high demand.
  • In the commercial sector, there is a significant focus on recruiting professionals with expertise in data privacy.
  • Legal professionals are increasingly expected to show strong communication skills. Law firms are also fostering a sales-oriented mindset among junior attorneys.
  • Employers have a stronger negotiating power when hiring legal professionals who are immediately available to start work as there still is a surplus of legal talent in the market. Those who are in a job and looking for greater career opportunities are seeking a 15% to 20% salary increment.

Salary guide

 low
high
counsel at PRC / hong kong SAR law firms
HK$115,000
HK$180,000
paralegal (3 - 5 years)
HK$28,000
HK$50,000
company secretarial manager (13 - 15 years)
HK$50,000
HK$75,000
in-house assistant vice president / legal counsel (4-7 years PQE) at international banks
HK$95,000
HK$140,000
in-house legal counsel (4-7 years PQE) at conglomerate
HK$60,000
HK$120,000

Insurance industry

  • Tightening regulations from insurance authorities will continue to shape hiring requirements in 2024.
  • Insurers have stepped up to provide highly attractive fringe benefits such as parental benefits, flexible work arrangements and championing diversity and equity.
  • Companies at the forefront of digitalisation are very attractive, as candidates prioritise employers that are willing to invest in technological advancements to ensure good career progression.
  • Junior to middle level professionals can expect a substantial 20% to 25% salary increase when switching employers or staying in the same role. Senior-level executives can anticipate a modest raise between 10% and 15%.

Salary guide

 low
med
high
Senior claims manager
HK$60,000
HK$70,000
HK$80,000
Customer service manager
HK$43,000
HK$50,000
HK$58,000
Product director
HK$85,000
HK$100,000
HK$120,000

Construction and property industry

  • Technical skills in engineering, architecture design, and construction technology, particularly building information modelling (BIM), remain hot in demand.
  • A notable shortage of junior-to-middle professionals, irrespective of the number of graduates.
  • The appetite for job switching remains high, with more than 50% of the talent being open to better opportunities across all levels in the industry. However, talent are prioritising the company’s financial performance and stability when looking for a new employer, and will likely not compromise on these expectations.
  • Economic sentiments entering 2024 have led to more conservative salary increment expectations, with many junior to middle-level professionals looking at a 10% to 20% increase when switching employers. Construction and real estate professionals will be able to negotiate higher increments.
  • Besides salary expectations, many younger professionals are exploring non-traditional career paths, opting for part-time positions, flexible hours, and government opportunities with attractive offers. Career development opportunities are another key expectation.

Salary guide

 low
med
high
Property manager
HK$42,000
HK$50,000
HK$60,000
Sales manager
HK$49,000
HK$55,000
HK$60,000
Architect
HK$50,000
HK$58,000
HK$62,000
Project manager
HK$70,000
HK$85,000
HK$90,000
Environmental sustainability manager
HK$50,000
HK$65,000
HK$72,000

Lead image / 123RF

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