The events of 2020 have directly impacted the permanent hiring market in Hong Kong as businesses revaluate their financial resources and focus on curbing their spend. However, businesses in buoyant sectors like the financial services and insurance are still seeking critical hires to supplement their activities and digital transformation. The combination of these factors has led to more companies exploring flexible recruitment solutions, or the hiring or temporary or contracting professionals, to support their businesses.

Project managers for digital projects lead demand

These are some of the findings from The Inside Story of Hong Kong, a monthly regional recruitment analysis undertaken by global recruitment expert Hays. Focusing on the flexible recruitment services sector, the analysis found that while the flexible recruitment sector was already gaining popularity in Hong Kong last year, the challenges of 2020 have led to a more measured hiring market in the first half of the year which is now picking up. Project-related work is a major area of flexible recruitment hiring and has become doubly important in recent months are companies look to ramp up their IT capabilities. The insurance sector has accounted for a large part of this after seeing increased business activity during the pandemic and as part of an industry-wide drive towards digitalising processes across functions.

More organisations are switching to flexible hires

More employers are exploring the option of switching from permanent hires to flexible ones. Over 20% of new jobs registered with Hays in May were originally permanent positions that were changed to flexible ones. This trend can be attributed to the way companies budget or account for contracting staff versus permanent. Cost benefits are also an important reason for this switch. This is particularly the case for highly specialised or consulting roles that can otherwise be a significant expense. With borders being largely closed for the foreseeable future, local candidates in areas of demand that are willing to make the change to a contracting model may see lucrative opportunities come their way in the following months.

An optimistic outlook ahead

Alongside the organic growth in demand for contracting professionals, the Hong Kong government recently announced they will be creating thousands of jobs to boost employment rates amid the Covid-19 crisis. Spanning sectors like IT, healthcare and welfare, many of these jobs will be created through service contracts awarded by government departments, while the administration could also ask existing contractors to increase staffing levels. The scale at which these will be implemented is shaping up for increased collaborations with the government and increased opportunities for contractors in the coming months.

Jack Leung, Regional Director of Hays Hong Kong commented, “While the future remains uncertain for many sectors, all indicators point to a fruitful year ahead for flexible recruitment solutions. The fact remains that many firms are reducing their permanent staff numbers and we are seeing a tangible increase in the number of companies now looking to hire temporary or contracting workers over permanent ones. This will only increase as flexible hires do not require approved headcount (as they are technically outsourced to the service provider) and represent an agile pool of skilled resources.”

To read the full Inside Story of Flexible Recruitment Services in Hong Kong, please click here 


About Hays Hong Kong SAR

Hays Specialist Recruitment Hong Kong is the one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Hong Kong SAR in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions.

Hays has been in Hong Kong SAR for over a decade and boasts a track record of success and growth. We operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent, temporary and contracting positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Marketing & Digital, Office Professionals, Property, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales. Hays Hong Kong SAR has been awarded the “Best Workplace for Women™” and one of the ‘Best Workplaces™ in Greater China 2019’ by Great Place to Work®.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2019 the Group employed 11,600 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2019:

the Group reported net fees of £1,129.7 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £248.8 million;

the Group placed around 81,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 254,000 people into temporary assignments;

18% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 32% in Rest of World (RoW);

the temporary placement business represented 57% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 43% of net fees;

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

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