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Hong Kong Hiring Expectations - 1st Half, 2015

Tulika Tripathi

HONG KONG positive about 2015: HIGHEST NET HIRING INTENTIONS IN OVER THREE YEARS

Tulika Tripathi, Managing Director, Hudson Asia

“A tight labour market, low unemployment1 and increased business confidence2, are providing favourable conditions for hiring, while global regulatory changes are having a significant influence on the strong demand for talent in banking and financial services.”

Key Findings and Commentary

Permanent Hiring Expectations: Hong Kong


  • Employers are optimistic about the new year with net hiring sentiment for the first half of 2015 at its highest level in over three years.
  • A net 52.1% of employers in Hong Kong intend to increase their permanent staff numbers in the first half of 2015, up 5.9 percentage points (pp) compared to the second half of 2014.
  • Whilst the outlook is good news for jobseekers, it has significant implications for how hiring managers find the right talent in the first half of the year.

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Permanent Hiring Expectations: Hong Kong by Industry


  • The banking and financial services industry has the strongest hiring sentiment with a net 65.1% of employers looking to increase headcount in the first half of 2015, up by a significant 21.8pp from the last half of 2014. The controlling functions such as risk, compliance, anti-money laundering, internal audit, governance and regulatory control are all actively hiring and will continue to build their teams for the foreseeable future. These roles flow on from global regulatory reform.
  • Employers are also optimistic about hiring in the consumer industry with a net 54.7% of employers looking to increase headcount, up 7.9pp from the second half of 2014. Within the consumer industry we are seeing growth in two key areas – luxury goods and consumer health. Luxury goods retailers are investing significantly in their frontline retail staff and consumer health companies are focusing on general trade/open trade sales managers to gain market share through volume across this channel. In particular, we see digital marketers with exposure to eCommerce and those with category management experience in short supply.
  • The manufacturing and industrial sector has seen a big drop in net hiring intentions, falling 21.3pp to 32.3%. Manufacturing roles that were once relocated to China are now being moved to other parts of Asia, having a knock-on effect on hiring intentions. Additionally, we have noticed an increase in demand for skilled candidates with experience in China and who are willing to travel extensively throughout the country.

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1 Labour Statistics, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong
2 Report on Quarterly Business Tendency Survey, Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong (Fourth Quarter 2014)

About the Hudson Report
The Hudson Report is an established employment trend report, based on in-depth and nationwide research.
Released every quarter, this report highlights key hiring trends gathered from interviews with 166 employers in Hong Kong.
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