• 57% of companies plan to increase staff numbers in the fourth quarter
  • 81% of employers anticipate a professional skills shortage in 2011
  • Staff retention is a major focus for 48% of businesses

Strong hiring activity in the fourth quarter will complete a year of sustained jobs growth across professional employment markets, according to the Michael Page Employment Index.

Some 57% of employers surveyed in Hong Kong and Southern China are increasing staff numbers in the fourth quarter. Most hiring activity is taking place in revenue generating areas like sales and account management, followed closely by operational functions.

“Employers are starting to recruit more broadly across their business to include operational and back office functions. This trend will continue in 2011 because companies will need to support increased levels of business activity,” said Anthony Thompson, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Southern China.

As the demand for skilled employees rises across all industries, 81% of employers predict that a professional skills shortage will be an issue for their business in 2011.

“At this stage in the business cycle many top performers will start to consider their next career move, so employers will need to work hard to keep their most valuable staff. Almost half of the companies we surveyed are already placing a major focus on staff retention strategies. This will become an increasing priority for the business sector as we move into 2011,” said Mr Thompson.