Visa fears limit mainland hiring

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2008, 12:00am

There is widespread misunderstanding among employers about the procedures for hiring talented mainlanders, a survey has found.

Fewer than one in five understand them, the poll, by the Hong Kong Association of Mainland Graduates, found. It also found that seven in 10 had stopped hiring mainland talent because of problems in getting work visas.

'Many think it will be a troublesome procedure and some haven't a clue how to do it,' association president Geng Chunya said.

The number of mainland students coming to Hong Kong to study has risen by 35 per cent every year since 2001, and more than 90 per cent hope to work in the city after finishing their studies. However, the association says barely one in six manage to find jobs.

The association carried out in-depth interviews with 30 of the 119 employers it surveyed.

Most said mainland graduates were more confident and ambitious, and had better writing and analytical skills and a stronger desire to learn than their Hong Kong-born counterparts. Still, they needed to improve their sense of responsibility, communication skills, professional ethics and problem-solving ability, employers said.

Mr Geng suggested local universities give their mainland graduates careers advice and encourage them to get more work experience.

He urged employers to keep an open mind about mainland talent and get to know more about immigration procedures.