Lack of career progression drives Hong Kong workers to seek new employment, survey shows

64 per cent of those polled would seek new employment for better benefits and pay

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 6:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 9:42pm

Rising doubts over poor career progression, job security, work-life balance, company management and cultures are prompting more Hong Kong workers to seek new employers, a new regional survey has suggested.

White-collar workers are finding fewer reasons to stay with their employers, according to the latest Asia salary survey by British ­recruiting consultancy firm Hays.

The survey draws from 3,000 employers and employees representing companies across Hong Kong, the mainland, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, with more than 60 per cent of the 858 respondents in Hong Kong surveyed indicating they would switch jobs in search of better pay.

Hong Kong graduates earn more and feel more optimistic about future, survey finds

Against an upbeat economic growth forecast and lower ­inflation for the year ahead, the majority of workers could expect salary raises of 3 to 6 per cent, though rising unhappiness means employers may need offer more than money.

“Recruitment and retention of talented employees will undoubtedly be one of the biggest challenges facing employers this year, and heightens the need for a ­review of recruitment policies and procedures in the midst of a war for top talent,” Christine Wright, Hays’ managing director in Asia, said, adding that attracting and retaining talent in 2017 “is more important than ever”.

Recruitment and retention of talented workers will be one of the biggest challenges
Christine Wright, Hays

She said an ongoing skills shortage in Hong Kong would ­affect businesses, prompting employers to invest more in boosting training and staff development.

The survey found that over the next year, some 64 per cent of respondents, down a percentage point from last year’s survey, said they would seek a new employer for a better salary and benefits.

However, more alarming was the number of employees signalling a lack of progression as a reason for leaving jumped to 45 per cent (up 19 percentage points).

Blaming management style and company culture also rose steeply to 41 per cent (up 18 percentage points), lack of training or development rose to 16 per cent (up 7 percentage points), while job security concerns reached 22 per cent (up 10 percentage points), and poor work-life ­balance hit 23 per cent (up 7 percentage points).