As part of this trend, the communication services sector sees the highest hiring demand.
Though cautious amidst the global economic slowdown and concerns over talent shortage, Hong Kong employers still show strong hiring intentions for the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the latest edition of ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey.
Surveying 38,833 employers in 41 countries and regions, employers around the world continue to anticipate a measured hiring pace in the final quarter of 2023 and report a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of +30%.
Zooming into Hong Kong, of the 510 employers surveyed, 47% expect to increase payroll (via headcount), 17% anticipate a decrease and 33% forecast no change. The net employment outlook stands at +30%, the same as the global level.
All Hong Kong sectors expect increasing staffing levels in the fourth quarter of 2023. The most competitive sector in Hong Kong is the communication services sector (48%), followed by the health care & life sciences sector (40%), and the information technology sector (35%).
Employers report that they are more likely to hire temporary over permanent and gig workers, 56% of employers in the communication services sector report the most optimistic outlooks for temporary workers.
Looking broadly across the Asia Pacific region, hiring managers anticipate increasing headcount (32%), improving when compared to the previous quarter (+1 percentage point) but weakening year-over-year (-8 percentage points).
India (37%) and Singapore (36%) report the strongest outlooks in the region, whereas the most cautious outlooks were reported by employers in Japan (11%). Meanwhile, Taiwan (+18%) records one of the greatest year-on-year improvements on hiring outlook for Q4, along with Greece (+21%), Hungary (+18%) and Switzerland (+18%).
On the other hand, the report showed that Hong Kong records a 17-year-high talent shortage at 85%. As the talent pool shrinks, employers are widening their scope and looking to non-traditional applicants, including those who:
- are older and seeking employment or career changes (37%),
- have been unemployed due to caretaking responsibilities (33%), and
- are from underrepresented or marginalised communities (26%).
“Companies globally remain focused on recruiting and retaining the talent they need to drive growth, said Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup. “Those who emphasise upskilling programmes, workplace flexibility, and culture will be most competitive in still-tight labour markets and better positioned to motivate and retain talent.”