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Survey: Over 80% of big enterprise leaders optimistic about HK talent landscape

Survey: Over 80% of big enterprise leaders optimistic about HK talent landscape

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Over 80% of large enterprise business leaders are optimistic about Hong Kong’s talent landscape, with focus now on workforce retention and culture-building, a study finds. 

The latest Deels' report “Hong Kong Business Leader Pulse Check: Workforce and Hiring” conducted in April, gathered responses from 250 business decision makers across various sectors in Hong Kong, focusing on large enterprises of 1,000+ employees in Hong Kong.

The survey found that 83% of decision makers from large enterprises in Hong Kong are optimistic about the city's talent landscape, citing its international hub status, feasibility of tapping into the global talent pool with technology if needed; and the the ability to present unique opportunities that are unmatched in other cities.

The city's talent policies are also one of the contributing factors towards confidence among HR practitioners, with 86% of them being optimistic about the outlook of the local talent scene.

According to the survey, 24% cited ‘finding the right talent’ as the top HR challenge this year, dropping 22% from last year. This is followed by managing workplace culture (20%), and integrating a new generation of younger Gen Z workers into the team (17%).

While finding the right talent continues to be the top challenge, the pressure likely dropped due to 94% of business decision-makers being open to hiring outside of Hong Kong to find the best talent for their businesses, up from 85% in 2023, said the survey. The global hiring approach is unanimous across c-suites, startups, the tech industry (100%)

When it comes to talent attraction and retention, competitive salary (32%), career growth (18%), company value (18%), and benefits packages (16%) are the top considerations.

More focus on workforce retention and culture-building

On the other hand, businesses are turning to automation to reduce costs, but are not looking to cut salaries or personnel as a result. The survey showed that plans to implement cost-cutting measures went down to 69%, from 73% in 2023.

Of the cost-cutting measures they plan to adopt, most (70%) are considering automating parts of the business process with tech such as AI. Interestingly, only a small segment is considering salary cuts (26%) and layoffs (34%). This aligns with another finding that companies are not looking to replace talent with AI or tech, but rather to automate processes to enhance productivity, enabling their staff to focus on more strategic or specialised work.

With the emergence of new technologies such as AI, the vast majority of business decision-makers across all industries (94%) have already, or have considered, AI integration into work practices to enhance business and attract talent. This is unanimous across the c-suites, tech, finance, and startups – 100% of respondents have already taken action, or are considering their approach.

“This year’s results see businesses become more optimistic about talent, thanks to their global hiring strategies, and the Hong Kong government’s talent policies coming to fruition. While AI is top-of-mind, it’s also encouraging that there is not an uptick of cost-cutting measures, but instead a shift to more strategic work. And with flexible working and hybrid policies now a norm, all this points to businesses prioritising talent development and retention by building workplace culture and offering more career advancement opportunities,” says Karen Ng, market lead Asia, Deel.

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