Hong Kong, 25 April 2019: Michael Page latest Salary Benchmark 2019 report cuts through all the technology headlines to show that Hong Kong’s employment landscape is buoyed not just by hi-tech specialisms and businesses, but also by the city’s traditional economic drivers, such as financial services, property development, retail, hospitality and logistics.
According to the report, 70% of job seekers have a favorable view of the economic situation. Hong Kong professionals who secure a new position in 2019 can expect to receive a 12 – 20% salary increase. 
With an encouraging view on Hong Kong’s employment opportunity areas, Howard Chan, Regional Director, Michael Page Hong Kong observes, “The growth of retail, together with new F&B market entries reflect an upswing in sentiment towards a healthy economy. All of which drive and fuel hiring activity. Within this industry, we have seen technology playing a more proactive to the business by ensuring business leaders drive the digital transformation programmes requited to support growth in dynamic Hong Kong.” 
With those initiatives in mind, the skills in demand include Big Data and artificial intelligence, setting up and developing Ecommerce and mobile payment systems as well as digital performance marketing and online content strategy.    
“The Fintech industry including cryptocurrency is growing fast, whilst the start-up market and overall service sector are on the rise. This is particularly evident in business and tech consulting, data analytics and Big Data,” says Howard
The announcement of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) outline development plan is anticipated to be another driver for Hong Kong’s employment landscape. While the GBA economy has always been considered to be more focused on technology, the blueprint has revealed that successful construction of the area will also create job opportunities in property development, urban planning, construction, manufacturing as well as financial services.  
Strategic management roles and service roles that are highly communicative are expected to remain in high demand for talent. In particular, we see corporate banks setting up GBA and non-borrowing team to capture more cross border business. In addition, Hong Kong is expected to strengthen its offshore private banking establishments. 
Hong Kong itself also offers a wealth of opportunities and employers are evolving to attract talent. Howard observes, “As a market, Hong Kong was traditionally more interested in full-time hires, however this has been changing recently. We see a spike in demand for contracting hires. This is a win-win situation as the millennial and Gen-Z workforce increase their focus on personal growth and work-life balance. There are now likely to have “slash” careers, providing contract services to different companies simultaneously, instead of having one full-time job. The gig economy is no longer just for creatives.” 
Contract positions are now in demand within financial services as well as multinationals. Hong Kong’s contracting talent pool will continue to expand in 2019 as more candidates seek short-term positions. Howard agrees that these specialist contracting hires are a viable option to companies in Hong Kong facing a headcount limit or talent crunch. He advises, “Training and development opportunities are essential to attract contract workers, as more professionals in Hong Kong have begun to consider contracting as a chance to gain exposure and grow professionally.”
Editor’s Notes: Data for the Michael Page Hong Kong Salary Benchmark 2019 report is derived from our proprietary database capturing job advertisements and placements mainly through 2018 and other PageGroup studies. Information is then validated against insights from our leaders’ and consultants’ interactions with clients and candidates.