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New year, new hires?

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A recent study by jobsDB has unveiled that the employment market in Q1 2019 will be less active than that in Q3 2018. Only 38% of the interviewed employers plan to hire new staff, a 17% drop compared with last year. Meanwhile, employees can expect to receive an average pay rise of 3% in 2019, and an average of 1.88 months bonus of basic salary.

Hiring trend
In general, Hong Kong employment market offers fewer career choices for candidates than in the previous two years. 36% of the employers have not finalised their hiring plans yet.

“In the long-term, the unresolved US-China trade dispute, continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and stalled Brexit negotiations have created widespread market uncertainty. As a result, local employers plan to remain more conservative when it comes to hiring, which will likely result in a less active employment market,” Isaac Shao, country manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong Limited, explained.

Employers’ key reason of new hires is to meet their business needs or supplant staff who have resigned. 8% plan to hire to replace current staff members who are not meeting the expectations. 57% said poor work attitude was the main reason for dismissal, while another 57% cited a lack of job motivation.

“It will become increasingly challenging for employers to find talent in Q1 2019. This is due to the ongoing talent shortage and mismatch in Hong Kong over recent years. That said, employers are also considering more aspects of a candidate’s experience and personality, evaluating not only their education and proficiency, but also their work attitudes and values. Only 6% of local employers pay attention to graduating schools, and instead focus on a candidate’s interview performance and attitude,” Shao added.

2018 sum up
The most common type of special leave were “marriage leave” (offered by 57% of respondents) and “compassionate leave” (56%).

The rights of female employees has caught the attention of some local employers. 6% of respondents already offered additional maternity leave on top of the statutory 10 weeks, and an additional 8% plan to initiate this benefit this year.

On top of this, 4% of respondents provided menstrual leave and 6% are planning to roll this out this year.

“Our survey was conducted prior to the government’s proposal to extend maternity leave to 14 weeks. This new initiative, which has been supported by multiple organisations, means that we actually foresee the proportion of companies that will roll out additional maternity leave in 2019 to be even higher than our survey predicts. It is considerate of the companies to offer these kinds of additional benefits, and this would also help them to establish a positive image and enhance the sense of belonging amongst employees,” Shao advised.

JobsDB’s Hiring, Compensation & Benefits Survey was conducted in September 2018 and covered 271 companies of different sizes.

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