Hong Kong employers upbeat over hiring plans
Updated: 2015-03-11 09:56
By Felix Gao in Hong Kong(HK Edition)
Hong Kong employers have reported positive hiring plans for the second quarter of this year, especially in the services sector, according to a survey conducted by human resources company Manpower.
Results of the survey released on Tuesday show that 17 percent of more than 800 local employers expected to increase their manpower in the second quarter, while only 2 percent expected a decrease and 71 percent saw no change in their staff levels.
Employers in the services sector showed the strongest desire to hire. The sector's Net Employment Outlook (NEO), calculated by subtracting the number of employers who plan to reduce their staff strength from those who intend to hire, stands at +23 percent - up 2 percentage points year-on-year and 3 percentage points quarter-on-quarter.
With closer economic cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong, bosses in the SAR are seeking candidates who are capable of liasing with their mainland counterparts. Thomas Lee / Bloomberg
"We're seeing a relatively active recruitment pace in accounting services amid the ongoing growth of professional services in Hong Kong. Financial reporting and analysis positions are in demand," said Lancy Chui Yuk-shan, Greater China vice-president of Manpower Group.
Professional accountants are also in demand for State-owned enterprises or private enterprises as standardized accounting and audit procedures are necessary for them to be listed in overseas markets, according to Manpower. Employers are looking for candidates who are willing to travel to the mainland to provide professional services.
Other aspects in the services sector are also seeing positive hiring intentions. Hong Kong's well-developed tax and legal system attracted foreign restaurants to expand their business in the SAR.
Local employers are also planning to expand, stimulating employers to increase their staff levels.
For information technology services, continuous demand is seeing in application developers, information security and data analysts.
The NEO for the finance, insurance and real estate sectors stands at +20 percent, while employers in the banking and financial services fields are also upbeat over hiring of new staff. Tightened banking regulations have continued to boost demand for compliance and internal audit candidates.
Manpower said staff levels are growing to support the input of capital, in both front-line and back office positions. To enlarge the existing network, employers are considering recruiting talent from the mainland to fill up positions.
"With the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the upcoming stocks cross-trading link with Shenzhen, we expect staff levels in the financial sector to rise by 5 to 10 percent," Chui said.
Hiring plans in the wholesale and retail trade sector for the coming quarter remain relative stable, as well-known overseas brands continue to expand their branches in Hong Kong. Chui said it's still unclear whether the protests against parallel traders in Hong Kong would affect the sector's hiring plans.
For the manufacturing sector, the NEO stands at +8 percent, with employers remaining cautious in their hiring intentions as the HSBC Hong Kong Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 49.4 in January, with new orders being weak and new business from the mainland dropping for the sixth consecutive month.
(HK Edition 03/11/2015 page8)