It looks like the job hopping rate of Hong Kong will accelerate this year, with 43% of local employees saying they intend to change jobs, compared to 39% in 2016, according to the Job Seeker Salary Report 2017 by jobsDB.
Quite a number of them (19%) will be repeat hoppers, having also changed jobs in the previous year.
The most common reason for workers wanting to move on is "salary dissatisfaction" (54%), followed by "low advancement opportunity" (37%) and "discontent with company culture" (27%).
Money is certainly a major concern for job hoppers. Although the 3.9% average salary increase in 2017 is slightly higher than last year’s 3.6%, it is still significantly lower than the 4.7% that people saw in 2015, and quite a lot less than the 5.9% recorded in 2014.
With a slow salary growth, 48% of the respondents believe they are underpaid while 44% think they are being paid the market rate. Changing jobs can be a good way to obtain a significant salary increase, with the average job hop delivering 5.3% more income than the previous position.
Although getting a pay raise is the main reason to change jobs, some employees are willing to stay on the job despite knowing they are underpaid. Their biggest reasons to stay are "satisfied with current workload/hours" and "do not want to seem to be a job hopper on resume".
The report also revealed job hoppers have high confidence in finding new employment. 27% expect to find a new job within two months and 50% believe they can have a new job offer within three to six months.
Overtime work continues to be an issue for local workers. 89% of respondents reported working overtime at the office, and the majority of them (75%) receive no compensation for it. The amount of weekly overtime runs from four hours (39%), to seven hours (23%) and 16 hours or more (3%).
Aside from working overtime at the office, 61% of respondents also work during their personal time. Most of the work activity conducted during personal time is communication, with some 41% of people reporting always or often receiving and replying to text messages, and 35% saying the same about emails.
The reasons for putting in extra time and effort vary, from "handling an urgent job" (54%) to "not wanting to upset the boss, colleagues or clients" (48%). Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) even mentioned that it is "part of the job."
"The biggest culprit causing unpaid overtime could be a combination of communication technology advancement and the always-on culture," Justin Yiu, general manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong, said.
"Some jobs might also require longer working hours than others, so it is hard to find a solution that works for all. Strong leadership by managers who focus on staff productivity rather than presence in the office, combined with an emphasis on work/life balance within a company’s culture, could go a long way to reducing or eliminating this issue."
The survey interviewed 1869 job seekers across 24 functions through an online questionnaire in February.
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