‘Be vigilant with your talent’ organisations warned as Hongkongers’ desire to emigrate higher than global average

Survey also found 57 per cent of Hong Kong men and 55 per cent women were willing to leave the city for an overseas job, much higher than the global average for women at just 46 per cent

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 2017, 8:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 August, 2017, 10:59pm

A recruitment expert has warned organisations to protect their talent as Hongkongers’ willingness to emigrate for a job overseas is higher than the global average, a survey has found.

Human resources company Randstad recently polled 13,200 people from 33 places worldwide, including about 400 people from Hong Kong. The poll showed that 56 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong would be willing to leave the city for a job they desire, compared with the global average of 50 per cent – though the figures for Malaysians and Singaporeans were even higher at 66 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

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“The war for talent is being fought on multiple fronts, between organisations and between countries,” said Michael Smith, managing director for recruitment agency Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. “Organisations need to be ever vigilant with their top talent, even if they have the best offerings compared with their competitors, overseas opportunities may still be stronger, potentially drawing their workforce away.”

The survey also found that 55 per cent of Hong Kong women were willing to leave the city for an overseas job, much higher than the global average for women at just 46 per cent. It was also 55 per cent for Singaporean women and 60 per cent for Malaysian women.

For Hong Kong men, 57 per cent said they were willing to emigrate, compared with the global average of 55. It was 66 per cent for Singaporean men and 72 per cent for Malaysian men.

Four in 10 Hongkongers want to leave city, with some already planning their exit

The poll also showed that the younger a person is, the more willing he or she is to emigrate.

Among Hong Kong people aged 18 to 34, 60 per cent were willing to leave the city, which is the same level as the global average. For Hongkongers between the age of 35 and 54, only 54 per cent answered they were willing to leave their hometown, but still much higher than the global average of 47 per cent.

Lancy Chui, senior vice president for Greater China at another human resources firm, ManpowerGroup, said people in Hong Kong were particularly keen to emigrate to Southeast Asian country because of the proximity.

The reasons they were willing to emigrate is simple, as many consider it a chance to move up the career ladder.

“Hong Kong women are no longer stay-at-home mothers. There are many strong women who hold senior positions in companies in the city,” Chui said.