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Recruitment in Hong Kong goes on despite COVID-19

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Even though Hong Kong is expected to enter a period of recession in 2020, and despite the COVID-19 outbreak, there has not been a significant dip in hiring activities in quarter one, according to Randstad's latest report.

A total of 69% of Hongkongers expect the economic situation to further deteriorate in 2020. Less than half of respondents (48%) expect their employers to perform better in 2020, than in 2019.

Considering that Hongkongers typically start looking for jobs after the Lunar New Year, Natellie Sun, managing director of search and selection in Greater China at Randstad, commented that some professionals will choose to prioritise job security over a new opportunity with another employer this year.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have also seen more companies replace face-to-face interviews with video or phone interviews. However, face-to-face interviews are essential when building relationships in Asian culture, and the lack of human interaction could significantly slow down the hiring process. Employers would still want to meet with the potential employee to ascertain culture and personality fit before making an offer,” she said.

One in three respondents (33%) had changed employers in the past six months. Almost a quarter of respondents said that they are looking for another job. Out of which, 8% are actively looking for a new opportunity.

Many Hongkongers are still expecting pay raises and bonuses.  A total of 63% of respondents expect to receive a pay raise and 61% want to receive a one-time bonus at the end of their fiscal year.

“Hongkongers are very competitive by nature. Job titles and salaries are very important to local employees, as these elements are seen as a direct measurement of how well they are doing compared to their peers.

"A factor contributing to the high bonus expectations could also be from staff in customer-facing roles, who were instructed to take unpaid leave as a result of the local protests. This group of workers are hoping their employers could compensate them for their loss of income through a one-time bonus,” Sun said.

Photo/ LA Times

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