• 35% of businesses will be increasing headcount in the fourth quarter
  • 73% of employers are willing to pay higher salaries to secure professionals with international experience
  • 67% of companies have a high demand for bilingual skills

The professional employment market will continue to grow steadily in the fourth quarter despite ongoing weakness in overseas economies, according to the latest Michael Page Employment Index.

Some 35% of the employers surveyed in Hong Kong are planning to boost staff numbers over coming months; a result consistent with third quarter hiring intentions.

“We have not seen any shift in recruitment demand over the last six months, which is a positive indicator in light of the uncertain global business conditions. The domestic employment market remains stable and companies are continuing to invest in newly created positions,” said Mr. Anthony Thompson, Managing Director of Michael Page, Hong Kong and Southern China.

The report reveals that employers in Hong Kong are increasingly looking for candidates with international experience and bilingual skills, and are paying a premium to secure such talent.

Over half of the employers surveyed are willing to pay higher salaries in order to acquire professionals with bilingual skills. A further 73% of companies are required to offer more attractive salaries to secure professionals with international market experience.

“Employers across all professionals sectors in Hong Kong consider language skills and international experience to be extremely valuable attributes in prospective employees. These professionals are in strong demand and companies are willing to meet their high salary expectations in order to secure the skills their business needs,” said Mr. Thompson.

Whilst experience in the Asia market is most highly sought after (54%), employers also value familiarity with European (22%) and US (10%) markets.

“As more employers look to expand their presence throughout the region, candidates with a strong understanding of business operations in Asia are particularly valuable. To achieve their goals, employers are looking for people with strong knowledge of how Asian markets work and the ability to communicate easily across cultures,” said Mr. Thompson.