Hong Kong employers struggle to fill positions

Sales representatives are reportedly hardest to find in Hong Kong, followed by IT and Engineers.

Some 76% of Hong Kong employers have reported difficulties in filling jobs.

ManpowerGroup surveyedalmost 40,000 employers across 43 countries and territories, including 365 from Hong Kong, to discover how much difficulty they have filling jobs; which job categories are particularly hard to fill and why and uncover what strategies are being adopted to overcome these challenges.

Among 365 Hong Kong employers surveyed, 92% recognize they are having more or similar difficulty to fill jobs this year than at this time last time.

 

 

Top 10 Jobs Employers Have Difficulty Filling (2018)

 

Top 10 Jobs Employers Had Difficulty Filling (2016)

1

Sales Representatives

(B2B, B2C, contact center)

1

IT Personnel

2

IT

(cybersecurity experts, network, administrators, technical support)

2

Sales Representatives

3

Engineers

(chemical, electrical, civil, mechanical)

3

Accounting & finance staff

4

Management / Executive

4

Management / Executive (Management/Corporate)

5

Professionals

(project managers, lawyers, researchers)

5

Engineers

6

Accounting and Finance

(certified accountants, auditors, financial analysts)

6

Sales Managers

7

Customer Support

(call center operators, customer service representatives)

7

Technicians

8

Technicians

(quality controllers, technical staff)

8

Customer Service Representatives & Customer Support

9

Skilled Trades

(electricians, welders, mechanics)

9

Secretaries, PAs, Receptionists, Administrative assistants & Office support staff

10

Office Support

(administrative assistants, PAs, receptionists)

10

Drivers

 

“The evolution of differing business requirements relies significantly on getting IT talent with the right skills to enhance efficiency and productivity and, as such, require IT Staff to possess both hard and soft skills (communications, customer services, etc) when managing different projects with departments and vendors,” said Lancy Chui, Senior Vice President of ManpowerGroup Greater China Region.

“We are also drawn to the fact that “Engineers” is back in top three difficult hires this year, whilst “Skilled Traders” has also achieved 8th rank.  This reflects a huge demand for both the engineers and skilled workers to meet the pace of Hong Kong residential and infrastructure construction projects,” she added.

Among the most common difficulties filling roles as cited by Hong Kong employers are:  “lack of available applicants” (40%), “lack of experience” (19%), and “applicants expect higher pay than offered” (14%).

In response to shortages, more than 80% of Hong Kong employers plan to offer higher salary packages and additional perks/benefits to attract applicants. 

Moreover, employers are finally beginning to attune to the fact that employees, particularly the latest generation of staff are desperate for training in the workforce, an element many employers had not seriously considered in the past. 

Almost a third (32%) of Hong Kong employers are beginning to actively invest in learning platforms and development tools to build their talent pipeline.

“Within the Greater China region, talent shortages are growing in Hong Kong and Taiwan, rising to a 12-year high.  76% of employers in Hong Kong and 78% in Taiwan reported significant challenges in filling jobs, up by 7 and 5 percentage points, respectively, compared to last year.  In contrast, the sheer numbers of graduates in China has a relatively low influence in talent shortages in the PRC, “ said Chui.

 

Top 3 Hard-to-Fill Jobs (and Having Difficulty Filling Jobs) in 2018 across:

China (13%)

Hong Kong (76%)

Taiwan (78%)

Sales Representatives

Sales Representatives

Sales Representatives

Technicians

IT

Engineers

Engineers

Engineers

IT

 

Globally, employers around the world have been facing acute talent shortages since 2006.  Of the almost 40,000 employers surveyed, 45% struggle to fill roles, with skilled trades workers, sales representatives and engineers the most difficult to find.

Accordingly, ManpowerGroup calls for new solutions to combat the growing talent problem:  Build, Buy, Borrow, Bridge.

  • BUILD: Invest in learning and development to grow talent pipelines and upskill existing and potential workforces
     
  • BUY: In a tight labour market, go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe required to fill immediate openings
     
  • BORROW: Cultivate communities of talent inside and outside the organization, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers with a view to complementing existing workforces
     
  • BRIDGE: Help people move up within, or outside the organization.

 

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