Over 50% of Hong Kong professionals considering leaving the city

Photo by Ansel Lee

A survey conducted by Robert Walters Hong Kong, the global specialist professional recruitment consultancy, has found that over half of Hong Kong professionals are considering or planning to move out of the city.

Of those surveyed, 15.6% expressed a desire to move as soon as possible, while 36.7% were considering a move in the next 3-5 years.

Among those who plan to work abroad, 51% age between 27 and 42 (Millennials), and 38% are 43-58 years old (Generation X).

John Mullally, Managing Director at Robert Walters Hong Kong comments,”The desire to work overseas and gain international experience is not new, especially among young people, but it’s concerning to see such a large percentage of Hong Kong professionals considering leaving the city.

“As employers, we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to retain our top talent, and this means offering opportunities for growth and development, as well as competitive compensation and benefits packages.”

Professionals looking for opportunities in MNC

According to the survey, a whopping 96% of professionals who are planning to move overseas have already undertaken tactics to prepare for working abroad.

The most popular tactic amongst these professionals was to look for a position in a multinational company, with 60% of the respondents opting for this.

On the other hand, 40% of those respondents who consider leaving the city are already applying for overseas jobs. 31% had started their plan by upskilling, training, or studying. Others are looking for internal mobility opportunities (27%) and switching career (27%).

John added. “On the positive side it is impressive to see professionals’ desire to gain international exposure in today’s globalised and competitive world. This can help them develop a broader vision, a stronger determination, and a richer network, which are valuable assets for any business.”

Retain talent at the time of economic uncertainties

Interestingly, when asked what they valued most in their career, 31% of these respondents who consider working abroad chose job security over compensation & benefits (29%) as their first priority. Besides job security and compensation & benefits, professionals care most about career progression, team culture and then internal mobility, which are essential for their personal and professional growth.

It is important for employers to understand the expectations of their employees in order to retain their top talent, especially during times of economic uncertainties. “Moving abroad is not an easy decision. If what professionals want is to gain international experience for career growth or broaden their minds, there are employers that can facilitate this.”, said John.

The poll was conducted among 107 Hong Kong professionals across various specialisations: accounting & finance, engineering & property, financial services, healthcare, human resources, legal & compliance, sales & marketing, supply chain, logistics & procurement, and tech & transformation.