The past 12 months have been tough for companies in Hong Kong when it comes to recruitment compared to at any point in the last five years. A survey by JobsDB with 481 responses from businesses on the island found that 68 per cent faced hiring difficulties, particularly for corporate sales and business development roles.

JobsDB’s Hong Kong managing director Bill Lee said a skills and talent mismatch was the “cause” of the city’s labor shortage, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic had reshaped requirements for workers.

“All sectors are undergoing reorientation, thus drastically transforming their demand for different skill sets, with available labor however not yet [able] to catch up [with] the change [as] companies take time and resources for such internal training and upskilling, expectedly sustaining a prolonged talent mismatch,” he said, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

Most managers (26 %) said finding talent in corporate sales and business development was most difficult, followed by jobs in accounting, merchandising and purchasing as well as administration and human resources.

64 per cent of the participating companies also revealed that a supervisory or managerial role was the most wanted position, with middle management and officer or non-managerial roles following behind.

Part of this difficulty is due to more Hongkongers leaving the country and emigrating, shrinking the talent pool even more, a claim agreed by 38 per cent of respondents. Data shows that roughly 113,200 residents have left the city (a drop of 1.6 per cent of HK’s population), believed to be enticed by bespoke citizenship offered by Britain, Canada and Australia.

New chief executive for Hong Kong John Lee Ka-chiu has announced measures to lure talents from abroad, including granting a two-year visa to those with an annual income of at least US$318,500, graduated from any of the top 100 universities in the world, plus with at least three years of working experience.


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