Hong Kong employers struggle with talent attrition

Photo by Sora Shimazaki

A survey revealed that 73% of organisations in Hong Kong have found hiring ‘very’ or ‘quite’ competitive in 2023. 91% have lost staff members in the last six months, with half selecting ‘salary’ as the main reason for their departures.

Despite this, the research, conducted by global talent services company Morgan McKinley as part of its 2024 Salary Guide, found that 55% of businesses still plan to hire in the next six months.

On the candidate side, 47% of professionals in Hong Kong plan to actively look for new jobs in the next six months. The survey also revealed that Hong Kong workers were not happy with the benefits they received: 76% being ‘neutral’, ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘highly dissatisfied’ with their packages.

The top five desired benefits workers in Hong Kong look for in a job are: Bonus, work from home, health insurance, flexible working hours, and health and wellbeing support.

‘Higher salary’ remains the most valued reason for wanting to move jobs at 60%, followed by ‘career growth and development opportunities’ at 13%. 57% of professionals in Hong Kong are optimistic that they will receive a salary increase in 2024 and 47% of employers plan to increase salary offers in 2024 for certain in-demand roles.

Rob Sheffield, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Hong Kong & Mainland China, commented:  “In 2023, businesses assessed their hiring needs after sustained activity in recent years. Vacancy and job seeker volumes have held steady, but hiring has been slow despite modest expectations of both headcount and salary increases.”

“What continues to be in high demand is the need for experienced contractors and outcome-based consulting, which has increased noticeably in Hong Kong. The need to support business-critical programmes and time-sensitive roles is driving this demand.”

Sheffield concluded: “In the current environment, employee retention is going to be key. Whilst competitive salaries are important to attract talent, it doesn’t always correlate with retaining employees. You need to also offer comprehensive benefits, have a slick hiring process, create a positive candidate experience, provide flexibility in working patterns and encourage professional development.”

“Whilst caution is likely to continue impacting the hiring market, and a range of flexible resourcing strategies adopted, early 2024 could see some loosening up in headcount budgets as markets recover.”