More than two-thirds of finance sector workers in Hong Kong are on the lookout for new jobs as the economy recovers, due to deteriorating working conditions and uncompetitive compensation packages, according to a survey. The study, conducted by recruitment firm Robert Half, interviewed 1,281 professionals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. It found that 67 per cent of 310 finance workers in Hong Kong want to change jobs as local employees were the most adversely affected financially during the recession - 60 per cent of them suffered a pay cut last year. Robert Half saw job placements in the first three months increase 49 per cent from the previous quarter. Working environments also worsened, as more than 40 per cent said they had to work longer hours and that conditions were more stressful compared to the year before. Over half said they could not take their annual leave last year because of their workload. Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Hong Kong, said the survey highlighted the importance of talent retention for employers as the economic recovery shifted the balance in favour of job seekers once again. However, only 21 per cent of companies surveyed had developed retention packages for their key staff. Mark Enticott, the associate director at recruitment consultancy Michael Page Hong Kong, said that while job seekers were predominantly concerned with stability last year, candidate flow was picking up this year as wages began to move back in favour of employees, although part of that flow is normal after bonuses are paid out. He added that the recovery in the job market did not mean it was easier to fill roles because the volume of jobs was also increasing as financial firms expanded their Asian operations. Enticott said his company was seeing the highest demand for candidates for roles in risk, compliance and internal audit departments. According to Ben Stewart, of financial services search firm Clayton Asia, at least for the high end of the corporate finance sector the market for job seekers is approaching 2007 levels once again, although at associate and vice-president level the job market has not quite returned to the peak.