Key survey findings: (Source: H1 2013 Michael Page Hong Kong Employment Index)

  • More than half of the employers surveyed (66%) expect business conditions to be stable or improve during the first six months of the year and 38% expect to increase headcount.
  • 53% are likely to boost staff numbers by up to 5% and the majority (71%) plan to add new headcount to revenue-generating roles.
  • 60% of respondents will maintain their focus on staff retention and 24% will increase it, with 48% offering employees’ performance-based rewards.

18 March, 2013: Employers across Hong Kong’s professional sectors remain relatively confident about the country’s business conditions with a number planning to build up their revenue-generating teams during the first six months of the year.

According to findings in the H1 2013 Michael Page Hong Kong Employment Index, 54% of survey respondents reveal they expect business conditions to be stable and a further 12% consider conditions will improve during the first six months of the year. While this reflects relatively positive business confidence levels, it is a reduction on survey findings from Q2 2012, when 21% of respondents expected business conditions would improve over coming months. However, aligned with the sentiment from more than half of the surveyed employers for stable business conditions in the first half of 2013, some 38% of respondents report they intend to increase headcount in their business over this timeframe.

Of those employers expecting to increase headcount, just over half (53%) indicate they are likely to boost staff numbers by up to 5% while a further 41% will consider making a more significant increase of between 5% and 10%. Only 1% will be increasing staff numbers by a more significant 15-20% in H1 2013, compared with 13% of the employers surveyed in Q2 2012 who expected to build up their teams by this percentage. The greatest focus will be on hiring professionals with expertise in revenue generation roles, according to 71% of employers.

“Hong Kong’s sustained strength as a business district and location for organisations’ Asia operations means employers across a range of sectors are focused on maintaining or expanding their teams,” says Mr. Andy Bentote, Senior Managing Director of PageGroup, Hong Kong and Southern China.

“In particular and based on our survey findings, the majority of employers are looking to leverage this domestic strength by building up their sales and account management teams, as well as adding other revenue generating roles,” he adds.

The attraction and retention of talented professionals also continues to be important for employers in Hong Kong during the first half of the year, as they focus on acquiring and keeping the skills necessary to progress their business. According to surveyed employers, 35% will offer competitive salaries to attract top talent and a further 35% will provide scope for career development. To retain key employees, 48% of surveyed employers will base their retention strategy around performance-based rewards.

“The survey findings reveal that while financial reward and remuneration continue to play an important role in any good attraction and retention strategy, offering employees career development opportunities remains a focus for employers,” says Mr. Bentote.

To read the full report, visit the Michael Page Hong Kong online News & Research Centre: Market Insights