Almost half of working Hongkongers look to change jobs this year

Some 43 per cent of those in jobs currently said they want to find better paying work with more opportunities for advancement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 8:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 April, 2017, 5:21am

More employed people intend to change jobs this year, citing better salaries and career advancement as reasons for potentially switching, a survey by a leading online jobs portal has found.

Of those who are currently employed, 43 per cent said they intended to switch jobs in 2017, an increase from 39 per cent last year, according to a survey by Jobs DB.

The survey found those who changed careers received an average salary increase of 5.3 per cent. This was more than the average salary increase of 3.9 per cent for those who stayed with the company they were employed at, and an incentive to move.

Low career advancement opportunities within the company they worked for was another top reason for seeking other employment opportunities.

Job prospects for new Hong Kong graduates decline: high level jobs hard to find and earnings drop

While some companies could not afford to pay their employees more, they could offer other incentives in order to retain talent and even attract new talent, according to general manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong, Justin Yiu.

“Some of the companies can provide some visibility to provide better working hours [or] better work-life balance, because our survey also shows that working overtime is quite serious in Hong Kong as well,” he said.

“So not everything is relying on money or salaries.”

The survey questioned 1,849 job seekers in February from 24 different jobs.

The survey found that 89 per cent of people worked overtime - 75 per cent of whom received no compensation.

Most worked an average of four hours overtime per week in the office, accounting for 39 per cent of respondents. In the most extreme cases, 3 per cent worked 16 hours or more of overtime.

Two forces of change that threaten Hong Kong jobs

The “always-on” culture has brought work home for many respondents. Due to email and smartphones, 61 per cent of employees were working during their “personal time”.

Most said their reasons for working during their off-time was to “handle an urgent job” or “not wanting to upset the boss, colleagues or clients”.

“Strong leadership by managers who focus on staff productivity rather than presence in the office, combined with an emphasis on work-life balance within a company’s culture, could go a long way to reducing or eliminating [unpaid overtime]”, Yiu said.

People working in the accounting, information technology, and real estate and property management fields saw the highest jump in their salaries, increasing 5.1 and 5.3 per cent respectively.

While those working in design, hospitality and food and beverage, and sales, customer service and business development saw increases of 3 per cent or less - the lowest salary increases in jobs listed in the survey.