HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 12 December 2023 – The job market in Hong Kong has faced significant challenges in 2023, amidst concerns of a global recession. However, there are signs of potential marginal improvements in 2024 compared to 2023, indicating a slow recovery.

Only 58% of professionals anticipate a pay rise in the next year. Among those not expecting a rise, 68% stated that the industry or business they work in has been heavily impacted by the current economic climate. When asked about the confidence level about job opportunities in their fields, only half of the candidates (50%) feel optimistic, compared to 63% in December 2022.

On the employer front, although over three quarters (76%) of surveyed employers intend to give their employees a pay rise in the new year, 81% of these employers have stated that the salary increment will be below 6%. This is indicative of a conservative approach and prioritisation of cost control strategies within companies.

These are some of the key findings on employees and companies in Hong Kong, based on specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters’ global Salary Survey 2024, an authoritative analysis and benchmark of salary trends.

Marginal salary growth

According to the survey, the average of the salary ranges of professionals in Hong Kong are projected to remain relatively stagnant throughout 2024, as businesses play catch-up to inflation and rising business costs. Across industries, the salary adjustments for most functions are a mere 1%, except for construction, property & engineering which is expected to have a 3% growth in 2024. Salary increment for changing jobs is expected to be lower, from an average of 15-20% in 2023 to 5-10% in 2024. Job cuts are expected to continue in some areas, such as investment banking, in 2024, due to over-hiring in 2021-2022.

“The market is slowly improving, although employer and candidate confidence remains quite fragile. While the increase in numbers hired may not be significant, we anticipate a slight improvement to the recruitment market in 2024.” John Mullally, Managing Director of Robert Walters comments.

Over half of the job seekers consider a counteroffer

The survey reveals that 74% of employees are actively seeking new job opportunities within the next 12 months. The desire for career progression (37%) emerged as the primary factor driving job change. Interestingly, when asked if they are willing to consider a counteroffer from their current employer, 52% stated they would do so, even after accepting a new job offer.

“As pay expectations moderate, employees are increasingly prioritising job security and career development opportunities,” said John. “Once one has made the decision to resign, reneging on that decision and accepting a counteroffer can create more issues down the line and may not actually change the factors that led one to resign in the first place.” In fact, among the respondents who had accepted a counteroffer in the past, 38% of them left that company within 6 months.

Generalisation of roles in the market

According to Robert Walters Hong Kong, hiring in Hong Kong has been focused on mid-level positions in 2023. Departures and downsizing at senior levels has led to those roles being staffed with more junior candidates (e.g. replacing directors with vice presidents). This trend reflects an overall desire among companies to reduce costs by replacing senior roles with candidates one level of seniority below.

Surveyed employers reveal that junior to associate level professionals are more likely to receive a 6-10% salary increase compared to senior professionals.

Meanwhile, contract hiring is likely to increase across tech, financial services and commerce sectors as employers seek a more flexible workforce to adapt to changing business conditions.

Technology and AI to lead talent demand

In 2024, technology, particularly A.I. and machine learning, will remain in high demand among employers. “Companies were looking to AI to deliver improvements in productivity and increasing automation of processes”, said John. 43% of the surveyed employers have explored or are exploring the use of A.I. models as a solution to replace routine tasks or administrative work. However, employees have yet to fully embrace these changes, with 44% of employees expressing some degree of concern about the impact of technology changes in their companies.

“The demand for candidates with expertise in artificial intelligence (A.I.) continues to rise. Candidates with a deep understanding of building and utilizing A.I. models are highly sought after.”

Hong Kong top in-demand professions for 2024:
· Accounting & Finance: Finance Business Partners, Corporate Finance, Commercial Analysts
· Construction, Property & Engineering: Sustainability Directors, Project Engineers, Leasing Managers
· Financial Services: Credit Risk, I.T. Audit, Regulatory Reporting (Capital Management)
· Human Resources: HR Business Partners, C&B Managers, HRIS
· Legal & Compliance: Derivatives Lawyers, AML Specialists, Funds Lawyers
· Sales & Marketing: Digital Marketing Managers, Performance Marketing Specialists
· Supply Chain, Procurement & Logistics: Account Managers
· Technology & Transformation: Data Engineers, Cyber Security Specialists, Full-Stack Developers

Hashtag: #SalarySurvey2024 #RobertWaltersHongKong #HongKongHiringMarket #HiringTrends

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Robert Walters Hong Kong

Established in 1985, Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies spanning 31 markets. The Hong Kong office specialises in placing high-calibre professionals on a permanent or contract basis in the following specialities: accounting & finance, construction, property & engineering, financial services, human resources, legal & compliance, sales & marketing, supply chain, logistics & procurement, and tech & transformation.

About the Robert Walters Digital Salary Survey – Around the globe, employers and professionals alike have been relying on the Robert Walters Salary Survey to help them make critical decisions for their businesses and careers. The digital edition of the Salary Survey is a comprehensive guide to salaries for thousands of roles in 31 locations, and it is packed with helpful tools and resources for hiring managers and job seekers alike, including the latest trends and analysis for different industries, as well as video updates on market conditions from industry experts.

For details of the Robert Walters Salary Survey 2024, please contact us or visit: www.robertwalters.com.hk/salarysurvey


Upcoming Events

MGBF In The News