TAFEP Hero 2023 June
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Hongkongers are less open to relocation for work than their APAC peers


Despite the ongoing political unrest and the growing trend of Hongkongers seeking to move abroad permanently, Randstad's latest survey — conducted between 18 July and 5 August 2019 — has revealed that even though Hongkongers want to be able to travel internationally for their jobs, they are not as willing to relocate to another area in comparison to their peers in Malaysia and Singapore.

A total of 78% of the Hong Kong workforce would consider relocating to another market if it meant that they could improve their career prospects and work-life balance, while 67% would relocate for a substantially higher salary — lower than any country in Southeast Asia or China. Even if their employers request them to relocate, only 59% are willing to do so in order to keep their jobs, lower than any of the surveyed APAC countries.

“The opportunity to work in different markets and be exposed to new work and people can be very exciting. It helps talent gain new perspectives, learn more about other cultures, and interact better with stakeholders from different backgrounds. Being able to work in companies based outside of Hong Kong is very tempting, especially if the other markets are perceived to have a higher quality of life, a well-regarded education system and more opportunities to have purposeful careers,” said Natellie Sun, Managing Director at Randstad Hong Kong.

Regardless of Hongkongers' indifference towards relocation when compared to other major APAC cities, more than three quarters want to be able to travel internationally for work.

A total of 79% also said that they like working with people from other cultural backgrounds, and 82% of respondents think that it is a positive thing that their employers hire foreigners if the local talent pool cannot provide the required skills or knowledge to do the job.

“As the leading financial hub in Asia Pacific, it is important for us to have a diverse workforce. When people from different cultures and backgrounds come together to work, they are able to gain different perspectives, find creative ways to improve efficiencies and drive innovation through collaboration,” Sun said.

“Despite recent political unrest which may have resulted in more people re-thinking about moving to Hong Kong for work, businesses are confident that growth opportunities remain present. As a bustling regional business hub, Hong Kong has been consistently rated the top place for expats across several renowned indices, retaining its appeal as a metropolitan city for professionals.”

Other key findings in the report

  • More than half of respondents said they are satisfied with their current job; 39% said that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied at work; 9% said that they are unhappy at work.
  • 21% had changed their employers in the last six months.
  • 25% said that they are either applying or looking for new job opportunities, and another 38% said that they would be open to changing their jobs if an opportunity is presented to them.

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