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Hong Kong top five hiring trends in 2023

Hong Kong’s recruitment market in 2022 has been ever-evolving and dynamic to say the best, typified by a talent supply-demand imbalance due to a global competition for skilled professionals, and an exodus of talent over the last few years. Key findings from the digital Salary Survey 2023 by Robert Walters, show that more than 80% of employers are concerned or very concerned about a skill/talent shortage, while 75% predict the most acute talent shortage will be among mid-to-senior level employees.

Technology remains bright spots for hiring  

Demand for tech talent continues across all sectors and all tech verticals despite a slowing market for other sectors. Data Sciences continues, cyber security will continue to be specialisations high in demand and its penetration can be seen through all verticals such as digital transformation and ESG. Technology, more than most areas adapted readily to the new remote or hybrid working environment, keeping hiring processes fluid. With travel restrictions easing, employers will benefit further as now they can compete globally for the best tech talent.

Financial Services hiring expected to slow down

Whilst Financial Services had been the most active hiring sector over the past 2 years, it might once again be the first one to contract. Across Investment Banking, Markets, and Asset Management, there are already first signs of attrition without replacement hiring in sight. Many of these firms had spent significantly on hiring between 2021 & 2022 and in some cases, had gone the extra mile to pay more and promoted individuals to attract and retain talent. There could be a reversion to these norms in 2023 and it might mean redundancies across certain areas and relatively reasonable salary increments for job movers.

Shift in hiring focus within the commerce space

In the multinational commerce space, there was a decrease in the number of regional leadership roles in Hong Kong with some of the seats repatriated to Southeast Asia. With the gradual reopening of Hong Kong’s borders, it is anticipated that some of these senior positions might return to Hong Kong; however, that transition might be rather gradual in 2023 as multinational companies adopt a more cautious approach to hiring in general and in Hong Kong specifically.

Call for contractors to ease skills shortage

Candidate shortage, market fluctuation and rising demand for projects are the reasons why more companies are seeking contractors to fill business-critical and time-sensitive vacancies. Contract hiring is likely to increase across tech, financial services and commerce sectors with employers looking for a more flexible workforce as business conditions change. It is also expected that a significant number of tech professionals will continue to prioritise interesting project work over the stability of permanent opportunities, for the chance to gain more technical experience and enjoy job flexibility.

Employee retention becomes key in 2023

With addressing skills gap and talent shortage top of the agenda, companies are feeling mounting pressure to retain employees. According to the Salary Survey 2023, 95% of employers in Hong Kong stated that employee retention will be a concern for their companies in 2023, especially among managerial and senior level positions.

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