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Employers relax expectations when they recruit

Updated: 01 Mar 2014
Employers in Hong Kong have relaxed their high expectations and become more flexible in the candidates they will consider in response to a shortage of skilled and experienced professionals. That’s one key theme from the latest Hays Quarterly Report for the July to September quarter, released today by recruiting experts Hays in Hong Kong.
“Employers are quickly realising that current levels of supply dictate a more flexible approach,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.
“That’s why employers are adapting their expectations and becoming more realistic in the type of candidate they will consider. This includes relaxing job requirements or considering candidates at a lower level and training them up into the role.”
But there is one area in which they are not easing their expectations; salary. Marc says: “While candidates in many industries expect a significant salary increase to move roles, many employers remain reluctant to increase salaries significantly as they do not wish to lose parity within their organisation.
“Thankfully money is not the only motivating factor for candidates. Today’s job seeker is aware of the demand for their skills, and is also looking for an opportunity that provides career development and improved responsibilities.
“Having said this, most candidates still expect a solid salary increase if they are to accept and move into a new role. The job title is another factor in their decision making since it shows progression and is recognition of status. 
“Given demand, many of these candidates are exploring multiple opportunities simultaneously,” he said.
According to the Hays Quarterly Report for July to September, demand is highest for the following skilled professionals:
·         Hays Accountancy & Finance:
Financial Analysts, Company Secretaries, CFOs well versed in Hong Kong listed rules, Financial Controllers and Finance Managers;
·         Hays Architecture:
Architects across the market, including candidates prepared to travel to projects as needed, and HKIA registered Architects with an authorised person qualification;
·         Hays Banking:
Good performing Relationship Managers, Transaction Banking Specialists, Credit Approval Managers, Credit Risk Analysts and Trade Product Specialists. Mandarin speaking candidates are also sought;
·         Hays Construction:
Qualified rail professionals, tunnelling experts and skilled professionals with experience on major casino and hotel projects;
·         Hays Engineering:
Tunnelling and Geotechnical Engineers, as well as skilled engineering professionals across the board;
·         Hays Finance Technology:
Candidates in the equity derivatives market;
·         Hays Human Resources:
Compensation and Benefits, HR Management and Talent Acquisition candidates with Chinese language skills;
·         Hays Information Technology:
Project Managers, SAP Consultants, Business Analysts, Retail IT Managers, Infrastructure IT Managers and IT Audit professionals;
·         Hays Insurance:
M&A professionals, distribution professionals, Underwriters, finance professionals and change management professionals;
·         Hays Legal:
Senior Associates in Corporate and M&A, Corporate Finance and Project Finance, Junior Corporate Finance Lawyers and Managing Corporate and Commercial In-House Counsels with specific skill sets;
·         Hays Office Professionals:
Legal Secretaries, Executive Assistants, Team Administrators, Customer Service experts and Company Secretaries;
·         Hays Property:
Project Directors, Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers and General Managers with Chinese experience and associated language skills, government relations experience and knowledge of relevant legislation and work practices;
·         Hays Sales & Marketing:
Sales and Business Development professionals and candidates with strong Chinese and English language skills along with the necessary relevant industry experience and product knowledge.

To read the full Hays Quarterly Report, including candidate and employer trends and future issues, please visit

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