Millennials to redefine Hong Kong businesses

Robert Half research has found the millennial generation is expected to make a positive and progressive impact on Hong Kong businesses. Read more here.

  • According to Hong Kong companies, the top three qualities brought to the workplace by millennials are increased flexibility (53%), a greater emphasis on soft skills (49%) and an increased emphasis on collaboration and transparency (48%). 
  • 63% have refined their hiring processes to adapt to a changing workforce. 

With millennials set to make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020 [1], the millennial generation is expected to make a positive and progressive impact on Hong Kong businesses, according to new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half. As a result, Hong Kong businesses are having to adjust their hiring practices to gain the attention of top millennial talent and secure all the benefits brought by their tech-savviness and appetite for learning. 

According to 53% of Hong Kong CFOs, one of the top qualities brought by millennials to the workplace is increased flexibility, which refers to the growing acceptance of flexible working arrangements such as working from home and flexible work hours. This is followed by a greater emphasis on soft skills (49%), such as communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills; increased emphasis on collaboration and transparency to enhance sharing of best practices (48%) and increased mentoring programs to foster supportive work relationships (25%). 

Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Having grown up with technology constantly at their fingertips, millennials are well-equipped to help companies transform into more agile and digitally-minded enterprises. With all of today’s industries vulnerable to the impact of innovation disruptors, companies need to be able to attract and further develop the necessary tech-savvy talent to tackle today’s business challenges.”

“The workforce has never been so multi-generational. In order to leverage the benefits every generation brings to the workforce, extensive collaboration and (reverse) mentoring programs that foster the sharing of experiences will be key to maximising the workforce’s full potential and to meet the changing demands of the market. Demonstrating a consideration for the drivers and expectations of employees will be a major factor in managing this multi-generational workforce.” 

When asked what measures they have taken to adapt to an increasingly multi-generational workforce, more than six in 10 (63%) Hong Kong CFOs have adapted their hiring processes to attract top candidates and over half (55%) have increased their level of collaboration among all generations in the workplace – which includes a greater focus on teamwork, brainstorming and relationship building across all company teams. Other measures include (reverse) mentoring programs (39%), open lines of communication (34%) and tailored retention and professional development programs (23%). 

“Generally making their career aspirations clear from the start, remuneration and rewards are not always the top priority for millennials. They thrive in flexible and transparent workplaces that offer open lines of communication across the business and they look for professional development programs which ensure their needs for career advancement are met.”

“Hong Kong employers will need to adapt (fast) in order to attract and retain millennial professionals. By refining their hiring practices, and specifically tailoring their talent management programs, Hong Kong companies can ensure they successfully attract the workforce of the future,” concluded Adam Johnston.  

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[1] https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/consulting/documents/millennials-at-work.pdf

About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in January 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and finance directors in Hong Kong. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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