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HR roles will be in the highest demand in 2020

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Most industries in Hong Kong have faced a year of uncertainty in 2019, underpinned by political and social disruption. Business sentiment has turned pessimistic, when companies planning to increase their headcounts dropped from 38% in 2018 to 24% in 2019, and those expecting to freeze hiring rose from 24% to 35%, according to jobsDB's latest survey.

Among companies that will hire new staff, the most sought-after role is admin & HR (29%), followed by accounting (28%), marketing & branding (16%), corporate sales & business development (13%), other professional services (13%), general management (12%) and information technology (12%).

The main reasons for increasing headcount include business expansion (69%),  replacement of resigned staff (44%) and having new roles / new skillsets (39%).

“Currently, the social and market environments in Hong Kong are indeed unpredictable, with some major industries already experiencing a negative impact, yet still the demand for some job functions is growing," said Isaac Shao, CEO of jobsDB.

The five job functions with the highest year-over-year growth, in descending order, are management trainee, data scientist, asset management, sales support, and medical service technician.

Other key findings in the report:

  • About one in three local, Chinese-owned, or Hong Kong-based multinational companies are planning to hire, which doubles that of overseas-based multinational companies. 42% of them still have no plans to hire next year.
  • Employees can expect to receive an average pay rise of just 2.7% in 2020.
  • Nearly half of companies surveyed (47%) are pessimistic about the future job market, predicting that it will become quieter in the first quarter of 2020. Only 9% of respondents still believed the employment market will become more active in Q1 2020.
  • Nearly a quarter of employers (24%) in Hong Kong are promoting a 'work from home' policy. The vast majority of these companies (83%) allow employees to work from home when public transport is suspended, and 81% will take this measure during severe weather. Other circumstances for work from home include difficulty in commuting for other reasons (51%) and personal reasons (49%).

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