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Hong Kong’s tight talent market: The skills shortage may hinder growth warns Hays


Updated: 28 Jan 2015

Almost one half (45 per cent) of employers believe that the skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department, according to findings in the recently released 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide.


The survey of 2,361 employers, representing over four million (4,017,026) employees, found that the most difficult professionals to recruit are senior management candidates in sales, accountancy and finance, engineering, marketing, operations and human resources (please see below table). 


Finding entry to mid management candidates in sales, engineering, technical, operations, IT, accountancy and finance, marketing, and human resources is also challenging. 


Percentage of employers who find it difficult to recruit the following professionals:

 Asia-Salary -Guide-2015-HK.jpg

These shortages, according to employers, may hinder the effective operation of their department or business.


In response, and despite the increasing trend to localise the workforce, 65 per cent of employers said they will consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas or expatriate candidate in skill-short areas.


“This particular finding demonstrates the extent of Asia’s talent mismatch and the severe shortage of suitably skilled local professionals in many industries and sectors,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.


“It also highlights the need for employers to continue innovating to attract candidates in a tight labour market. This is especially important since 48 per cent of employers told us they expect their permanent staff levels to increase in the year ahead and 72 per cent expect their level of business activity to increase.


“With hiring plans remaining strong in most sectors and industries, more pressure will be added to the tight talent market to produce the highly-skilled local professionals that employers need.


“For Hong Kong’s job seekers, this presents a great opportunity to secure a job that can offer you career advancement or long-term career progression. By focusing on your long-term career objectives, rather than short-term financial benefits, the current market can provide the opportunities you need to get your career to where you ultimately want it to be,” Christine said.  


Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.


Hays is located in Hong Kong at Unit 5803-7, The Centre, 99 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong. Phone +852 2521 8884 or email  


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