The main reasons why Hong Kong employees will switch jobs

Job seekers in Hong Kong have nominated better salary or benefit packages as the main reason why they wish to switch jobs in 2017. Work-life balance was the number one reason why employees in Hong Kong will stay with their current employer, according to the newly released 2017 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

The annual Hays Asia Salary Guide reveals the results of candidates and employers surveyed from across mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. The Guide also provides salary ranges for more than 1,200 roles based on research from 3,000 employers representing six million employees.

According to the tenth annual Guide, 34 per cent of candidates across all countries are actively looking for a new job while 46 per cent are open to new opportunities.

In addition to seeking better salary or benefit packages (64 per cent) compared to 65 per cent last year, the other key motivators for job hunting in Hong Kong are:

• Lack of career progression (45 per cent)

• The management style & company culture (41 per cent)

• Seeking new challenges (33 per cent)

• Poor work-life balance (23 per cent)

• Concerns about job security (22 per cent)

• Work location (19 per cent)

• Lack of training or development opportunities (16 per cent)

• Other (7 per cent)

On a country level, salary or benefit package was the main reason why job seekers are looking to switch jobs in mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore whilst in Japan, a desire to seek new challenges was the main reason why job seekers are currently looking to switch jobs.

Key reasons candidates in Hong Kong want to stay with their current employer are:

• Work-life balance (41 per cent)

• Salary or benefit package (34 per cent)

• Career progression (31 per cent)

• Job security (28 per cent)

• Work location (24 per cent)

• Training or development opportunities (20 per cent)

• The management style & company culture (18 per cent)

• New challenges (17 per cent)

• Other (3 per cent)

On a country level, work-life balance was nominated by candidates in Malaysia and Singapore as the main reason why they wish to stay with their current employer. In Japan, career progression is the key retention motivator with mainland China respondents choosing job security.

Other key candidate trends from Hong Kong in the 2017 Guide include:

• 46 per cent are happy with their salary, bonus, benefits package 

• 50 per cent are willing to relocate to a different country to secure a new role

• 59 per cent believe their job performance is fairly evaluated 

• 32 per cent believe there is scope for career progression in their current role

• 27 per cent say there is no scope for career progression in their current job and 41 per cent are unsure

• 43 per cent spend 1 to 2 hours of personal time a week enhancing their professional skills

“This year’s Guide tells very different stories about why employees in Hong Kong leave a job and why they stay,” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director of Hays Hong Kong.

“We have seen a small decrease in the number of job hunters motivated by salary and benefits but for many of those expecting to stay with their current employer, work-life balance is worth more than financial gain.”

Asked about their salary expectations, 38 per cent of candidates in Hong Kong expect an increase from between 3 and 6 per cent whilst 8 per cent expect no increase at all. 37 per cent expect a salary increase of more than 6 per cent.

Of employers surveyed in Hong Kong, 49 per cent plan to award salary increases from between 3 and 6 per cent. 9 per cent of employers in Hong Kong have no plans to award salary increases this year whereas 17 per cent plan to offer more than 6 per cent.

During the last salary review period, 55 per cent of employers in Hong Kong awarded increases from between 3 and 6 per cent with 9 per cent providing no salary increases. 17 per cent of employers gave salary increases of 6 per cent and more.

“While those planning to stay with their employer have fairly realistic salary expectations, employers will have to be mindful of the higher salary expectations of the candidates they are trying to attract, especially those companies with hard to fill roles,” Dean says.

Of employers in Hong Kong surveyed for the 2017 Guide, 44 per cent believe skills shortages have the potential to hamper effective business operations this year and 47 per cent expect shortages to have some impact on their business operations.

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