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Why employees are jumping ship to government jobs

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In today’s volatile talent market, the “iron rice bowl” of government jobs has become increasingly attractive for young talent. A recent post on Civil Servant Secrets Facebook revealed people in their early 20s and late 20s are most likely to look for a civil servant career because of the money.

For 18 to 20-year-olds with no university qualifications, jobs in the disciplined services such as police constables, with a starting salary at  HK$22,000, are much more attractive than the minimum wage jobs in retail and food and beverage.  Moreover, it is also way higher than the HK13,000 to HK$15,000 fresh university graduates make.

It makes perfect sense for these less qualified young men and women to become civil servants.

For human resources practitioners, the worrying thing is young professionals with experience under their belt jumping ship to government jobs

This older group of high-achievers have come out of university with a dream to develop their career in the private sector. But after a few years, they have found themselves in an unfavourable position financially.

Many of them receive a pay rise of around HK$1000 to HK$2000 a year,  that number maybe a little higher if they jump ship.  Most would consider themselves extremely lucky to be earning close to HK$30,000 a month by the time they approach 30.

Closing in on 30 years of age, these men and women are beginning to second guess their career choice – why live on the edge with no hope of buying a flat or starting a family on mediocre pay?

To make things worst, these people are often the victims of corporate restructures as they make almost three times as much as a fresh graduate.

Disappointed by harsh conditions of the private sector, more and more of this young talent are moving to the government sector.

A friend of mine, who had worked in the local media industry for 10 years, recently switched to working in the government and doubled her monthly salary.

It seems the private sector is losing the talent war against the government. Human resources practitioners, please share with us on social media what can be done to retain valuable talent.

ALSO READ: Why Hongkongers quit without a new job lined up

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