Robert Half’s Workplace Survey Key Highlights:
- 91% of employers in Hong Kong’s finance industry report skills shortage in finance and accounting
- 58% of Hong Kong employers report major and chronic skills shortage
- 82% of employers surveyed across the Asia Pacific region indicate skills shortage
- 61% of employers surveyed in Hong Kong observed skills shortage of middle management staff as a key area for concern
- One in five (20%) employers in Hong Kong surveyed have indicated that they will pay whatever it costs to recruit the best talent
- 83% of finance professionals surveyed in Hong Kong want more training opportunities from their employers
Hong Kong, 8 September 2010 – According to the latest Robert Half Workplace Survey released today, over 90% of employers in Hong Kong’s finance industry indicate a skills shortage in the current market, and 58% of them report this trend as a major and chronic shortage.
The survey shows that across the Asia Pacific region, the finance and accounting sector is experiencing a similar issue, with 82% of employers surveyed across the region acknowledging that rising demand for higher skills is not being matched by current supply.
The Robert Half Workplace Survey, conducted in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, reveals that over half (61%) of employers surveyed in Hong Kong observed a skills shortage of middle management staff followed by junior level (23%) and senior or director level staff (15%). According to the survey, one in five (23%) employers claimed that they are unable to find the right staff due to job seeker’s high salary expectations.
Andrew Morris, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong warns of an imminent war for talent, "Employers who made too many redundancies during the Global Financial Crisis are facing skills shortages which will worsen as the economy continues to improve. Making talent top priority has never been more important for companies seeking to build strong teams of key executives in the current climate."
According to the Robert Half Workplace Survey, employers in Hong Kong’s finance industry are turning to various measures to address the talent shortage by actively updating the skills of existing staff through training and development (36%), hiring contract or temporary staff to help alleviate high workload (18%), and hiring new staff from overseas (13%). As a desperate measure to cope with the rising skills shortage, one in five (20%) employers surveyed in Hong Kong have indicated that they will pay whatever it costs to recruit the best finance and accounting job candidates.
"An investment in employee training and development is an investment in the company's success," commented Mr Morris. "Training and development is not only important for employee motivation and retention, it is also one of the most effective solutions in combating skills shortage. Many companies have put in place internal training programmes which are a cost-effective means to up-skill staff by providing them with the opportunity to learn from the best people within the organisation."
The survey further reveals that out of the 71% of Hong Kong finance professionals who have attended training in the past 12 months, 44% of them found their training very relevant to the job but 83% want more training opportunities. The type of job training that Hong Kong finance professionals want their employers to provide the most include leadership skills (18%); negotiating skills (14%); and team building skills (14%).
When asked the key reasons behind the talent shortage felt across Hong Kong’s finance industry, local employers attribute the situation to two key factors, including insufficient talent retention measures (23%) and companies not providing development opportunities (18%).