New research reveals Hong Kong’s jobseekers’ biggest frustrations in recruitment process

Businesses around the world are missing out on top talent because they are alienating candidates with long hiring practices and poor communication. Read more here.

  • Top three frustrations of Hong Kong jobseekers about the recruitment process are multiple interview rounds (37%), slow feedback (34%) and lack of transparency on rewards and benefits (34%). 
  • 84% of Hong Kong jobseekers regularly receive multiple job offers when searching for work, highlighting the need for companies to effectively manage the recruitment process to secure the best candidates.

Businesses around the world are missing out on top talent because they are alienating candidates with long hiring practices and poor communication, new independent research from Robert Half reveals.

In the poll of 500 Hong Kong jobseekers, Robert Half has found that the biggest frustration with job applications is having to do multiple interviews with the same employer. This was cited by more than one in three (37%) candidates. Other frustrations include:
Hong Kong jobseekers were asked: “What are your biggest frustrations about the recruitment process when applying for a new role?”

Doing multiple job interviews with the same employer 37%
Slow feedback to get an update about where I stand in the recruitment process 34%
Lack of transparency on rewards and benefits 34%
Keeping track of multiple job interviews/opportunities with different employers 30%
Poor communication about the required steps in the recruitment process 28%
Delayed decision-making 24%
Difficulties scheduling interviews 24%
Changing role requirements 16%
Disappointment with contractual terms 17%

Source: Independent survey among 500 jobseekers in Hong Kong – multiple answers allowed.

When professionals are looking for a new job, they do so actively with 45% of jobseekers applying for ten roles or more at the same time. However, in a market where 95% of Hong Kong employers say they find it challenging to source skilled talent, they need to act fast or risk losing talent. The research indicates that more than eight in 10 (84%) jobseekers regularly receive multiple job offers when searching for work, with 43% “often” or “always” getting more than one offer.

“In a candidate-short market, businesses looking to secure the best person for the job risk alienating job applicants with long, drawn-out interview processes,” said Adam Johnston, Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong.

“While the recruitment process needs to be balanced against the expectations and frustrations of jobseekers, Hong Kong companies could benefit from streamlining their application and interview process, thereby ensuring delays and other frustrations are not costing them top candidates,” Adam Johnston continued.

With multiple interview rounds and slow feedback being top frustrations for Hong Kong jobseekers, 44% of them generally do not even receive feedback from their potential employers about their performance in interviews and 50% do not receive feedback about the reason why they were not offered the job. 

Companies need to be wary that the implications of slow communication and the lack of feedback can be far-reaching with 60% of Hong Kong jobseekers saying they would not recommend a company as a potential employer and 51% even willing to withdraw their application if they have not received a timely response about the status of their application.

“Businesses should be aware that interviewees who are treated poorly during the application process can impact the company’s reputation and possibly even prospective business opportunities. Unenthused job applicants who have had a negative experience with a company are likely to not only withdraw their application, but potentially even give negative feedback of the organisation, which can significantly jeopardise the attractiveness of the company as an employer of choice and even potential business. Sometimes multi-stage interviews are unavoidable, yet prompt feedback and timely communication throughout the application progress is essential to avoiding any negative consequences,” concluded Adam Johnston.  


About the research
The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017-January 2018 by an independent research company among 500 jobseekers in Hong Kong.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]