Hong Kong’s changing talent market landscape: challenges and solutions

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What’s in store for hirers this 2017?


The year 2016 proved to be a challenging year for Hong Kong’s hirers as various industries faced several rough obstacles in their chosen fields. Challenges in the form of talent shortages and an ongoing competition with foreign markets for manpower are just some of the difficult battles that tested the city’s HR professionals. As the new year brings in new opportunities to rise up these industry roadblocks, hirers should look to new industry innovations as a solution to remedy their hiring pain points.

With this in mind, will 2017 be another challenging year in the world of recruitment and human resources? With the ever-changing business landscape creating higher talent demands in newly-created roles and fields, the answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’.

Experts speculate that the rise in the digitalisation of businesses will continue to require highly-knowledgeable professionals to take care of things, but Hong Kong’s talent pool may be unable to keep up with the demand. Companies would need to find job seekers that demonstrate advanced technical skills, the ability to think ‘outside of the box’ and a high language proficiency (bi- and multilingualism) to fulfil industry demands – ‘hybrid talents’ as this article from Mumbrella Asia calls them.

Other trends that may shape the 2017 talent market landscape are as follows:

  • The ‘cool office phenomenon’ – As more and more companies transform themselves into ‘hubs of fun’ (think of workplaces dressed up like playgrounds and offices with a full-stocked bar) as a way to attract candidates, hirers need to think of new, innovative ways to lure and keep talent.
  • The growth of the freelancer market – Hong Kong’s firms have now started looking at alternative talent sources to fill their vacancies, with a highly-skilled labour force of freelancers stepping into that role. Supporters of the movement agree that it is a quick and effective solution to cope up with the fast changing talent market landscape.
  • China’s ongoing expansion in Hong Kong – In the field of finance, Hong Kong will see an increase in Chinese financial institutions building data centres locally, owing to the fast Internet speed here. China’s real estate and constructions firms will likewise continue to expand their operations in Hong Kong.
  • Younger talents slowly climbing up the ranks – No longer seen as liabilities in the workplace, hirers are now favouring junior-level talents to fill roles in offices everywhere. Thanks to their fresh energy and ideas, as well as their skills in navigating the digital landscape, more and more employers are now looking to inject the workforce with young blood.
  • The problem (still) of talent shortage – Expectations remain grim for 2017 as talent shortage will still continue to plague Hong Kong’s talent market. The competition for talent will remain fierce in the medical sector, life sciences, banking and finance, as well as the construction industries.

The challenge for hirers

Given these scenarios, what can hirers do to successfully navigate this year’s talent market landscape? A more aggressive campaign to reach talents must be set in place.  Recognizing these trends as the new reality in the industry will certainly require more innovative strategies on the part of HR professionals.

A closer look at your target talents would be a great starting point before creating and implementing new hiring practices. Looking at the trends mentioned above, the future of Hong Kong’s talent market point to a younger, more flexible and technologically-oriented workforce in the years to come, so your strategies should revolve around these conditions?

Institutional changes that allow for more flexibility will attract more candidates into your fold. As mentioned above, companies are now transforming their dwellings into one that incorporates fun and work at the same time. Company policies that allow for more work-life balance, such as flexible work schedules, longer leave policies (for vacation, sick and parental), even perks that encourage healthy lifestyles and personal growth are now being offered by small and big companies alike to entice job seekers to apply, as well as retain their staff.

For a more conservative approach to attracting talents, a simple upgrade of hiring and recruitment strategies may all be that’s needed. Look at your job ads and see the message it conveys to the public – does it get the job done at recruiting talents in your company? Is it impactful? There is a science behind creating effective job ads and you’d be wise to apply it in your hiring arsenal. In terms of interviewing candidates, a quick review of your techniques may help pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in the area. Check out this guide and see if you or your hiring staff needs to brush up their interviewing skills.

jobsDB is the hiring partner you can depend on

An overhaul of one’s hiring and recruitment policies is crucial in today’s tough talent market, but hirers can always do more. Choosing the right partner can tremendously improve your matching and hiring success rate. A strong and capable talent sourcing partner can help you:

  • Build a strong employer brand through content marketing and online campaign initiatives
  • Utilize mobile technology to reach candidates 24/7, 365-days a year
  • Select the right recruitment tools to get you the best candidates

Asia’s best talent sourcing partner, jobsDB, is the perfect choice to fulfil these hiring goals. With our new and improved Recruitment Centre, powered by our latest innovations – Integrated Sourcing and Collaborative Screening – jobsDB is ready to take on HK’s talent market challenges with you. These two features work side by side to give you the best candidate matches possible:

  • Integrated Sourcing makes it possible to reach both active and monitoring candidates in one action – by combining talents that (a) applied directly to your job ads and (b) that have the skills and experience that match your search criteria. Hirers looking to employ for hard-to-fill vacancies or roles that demand niche skills will greatly benefit from this new side addition.
  • Collaborative Screening works on the principle of ‘teamwork’. Processing candidates are now made faster and easier by enabling hirers and managers to work together in selecting candidates.

These innovations, together with our team of local and dedicated advisors, give hirers a one-stop, all-in-one hiring solutions provider that’s affordable and will help ease their recruitment pain points.

Learn more about our offerings here.

The great thing about the talent market is that it is in a constant state of flux – it is never stable and will adapt to the movements and changes inside and outside of the field. It is then important for its players to be well-informed in order to secure their place. Having the right hiring strategies and tools at one’s disposal will ensure longevity and survival in the market.

Further reading:

Tips for hiring middle management for the first time

Mobiles push new jobseeker behaviour

This article is either written or edited by jobsDB HK. If you would like to publish it on other website or publication, please contact us by email: [email protected]. jobsDB reserves the right to take legal action against any person that infringes the copyright.

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