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Chinese companies will drive 2017 hiring growth in Hong Kong: Michael Page survey

Hong Kong, ­20 December 2016: The rapid expansion of Chinese-headquartered conglomerates and financial services firms will fuel 2017 hiring growth in Hong Kong, according to initial findings from the 2017 Asia Salary and Employment Outlook survey by Michael Page.

These companies are aggressively growing their footprint in the city and using their Hong Kong-based businesses as springboards for international growth, according to responses by nearly 600 employers across a range of industries in Hong Kong. These Chinese organisations are primarily conglomerates, property developers, banks and buy-side firms, including hedge funds and PE funds.

Sharmini Wainwright, managing director of Michael Page and Page Personnel, Hong Kong, anticipates the largest levels of hiring to stem from China-based multinational corporations and financial services firms. In addition, hiring activity within the international financial services sector is expected to rebound post bonus rounds following a difficult year with very restricted permanent hiring levels.

“Large Chinese banks, asset management and insurance firms will continue to drive much of the growth in Hong Kong’s financial services sector. These organisations are recruiting aggressively to gain traction in Hong Kong by offering prospective candidates highly attractive compensation packages, with a particularly higher offering on the bonus component.”

Elsewhere, employers across most sectors are expected to adopt a more cautious approach to hiring in 2017 although 35% of employers in Hong Kong are still planning to increase headcount in the next 12 months -- a slight dip from the previous year of 41%.

Another employment trend many Hong Kong employers are turning to is the use of contract staff as an alternative and flexible talent solution to headcount allowances. About one in two (52%) companies surveyed currently use contract solutions. Of those, 1 in 5 are planning to increase their contractor headcount in 2017.

The digital and FinTech sectors are also bucking the cautious hiring trend, with continued investment in new hires with relatively novel skills such as app development, social media and digital marketing. Such hires can command up to a 30% salary increment with each job switch.  

For more insights, please refer to our Michael Page Hong Kong 2017 Salary Employment Outlook infographic.