Hong Kong, 21 February 2017: The rapid expansion of Chinese-headquartered conglomerates and financial services firms in Hong Kong will fuel the competition for talent in 2017, according to survey findings from the 2017 Hong Kong Salary and Employment Outlook by global recruitment specialists Michael Page.

Surveying close to 600 employers across a range of industries in Hong Kong also revealed:

  • 35% of hiring managers anticipate an increase in headcount
  • 86% say their organisations support diversity and inclusion
  • 62% of Hong Kong employers expect to increase salaries by ≤5% in the next 12 months

Sharmini Wainwright, managing director of Michael Page and Page Personnel, Hong Kong, anticipates the largest levels of hiring in 2017 to come from China-based multinational corporations and financial services firms.

“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 discretionary bonus component. This can be up to 70% more than an equivalent role in a multinational.”

These companies are aggressively growing their footprint in the city and using their Hong Kong-based businesses as springboards for international growth. In comparison, multinational firms within the financial services sector are actually contracting in size. Demand for professionals in mainland Chinese firms is largely focussed at the middle to senior-level. These Chinese organisations are primarily conglomerates, property developers, banks and buy-side firms, including hedge funds and PE funds.

While Hong Kong professionals have traditionally expressed a preference to work for an MNC or local company, we have observed a recent shift in mentality. Top candidates have been persuaded to join mainland Chinese firms through attractive compensation packages and the opportunity for career growth. Some Chinese banks are also raising titles and responsibilities in order to secure the best talent.

The use of specialist contract staff as an alternative and flexible talent solution is another growing trend among Hong Kong employers. About one in two (52%) companies surveyed currently use temporary hire solutions. Of those, 1 in 4 are planning to increase their contractor headcount this year.


Editor’s notes: The Michael Page 2017 Hong Kong Salary and Employment Outlook covers market insights, recruitment trends in Asia. This includes Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong(China) and Taiwan(China). The report incorporates the views of over 3,400 employer survey respondents in addition to feedback from corporate human resources directors across different industries in Asia and business experts' insights from the Michael Page leadership team.