Accounting and finance staff are the second most in-demand professionals in Hong Kong, following sales representatives.
ManpowerGroup’s ninth annual Talent Shortage Survey has revealed that 56 percent of employers in Hong Kong experience difficulty finding candidates with the right skills (down one percent from 2013).
The global results of ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey indicate 36 percent of employers worldwide are reporting shortages, the highest level in seven years.
Within Hong Kong, of 445 employers surveyed, 70 percent accept this shortage has a medium- to high-impact on the ability to meet their end-client needs.
Eighty-three percent reported that ongoing talent shortages reduce competitiveness and their ability to serve clients.
Surveyed Hong Kong employers reported the top three job categories most difficult to fill were sales representatives, accounting and finance staff, and IT staff. Sales Representatives have topped the list locally since 2007.
“Our survey indicates an increase of challenge to hire accounting and finance talent,” said Lancy Chui, Regional Managing Director of ManpowerGroup Greater China Region. “This segment now holds second place for the most difficult jobs to fill, revealing the labour supply is not keeping pace with business growth in this sector."
Risk and compliance roles are also in great demand. Moreover, under the Hong Kong/China Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, accounting professionals in Hong Kong are required in the provision of audit services in China.
"However, complex regulations in China have made it harder for employers to source qualified talent to meet requirements,” Chui indicated.
The survey also reported various reasons jobs aren’t being filled: lack of available applicants (52 percent) and candidates looking for more pay than offered (22 percent).
To face such challenges, surveyed employers are adopting non-traditional people practices (40 percent) and exploring new talent sources (24 percent).
“To overcome difficulties in hiring, employers across three regions consider focusing on existing staff strategies as the most favourable off-set to difficult hiring (Taiwan 58 percent, Hong Kong 40 percent and China 31 percent)," said Chui.
Chui notes that shifting demographics are creating talent mismatches, forcing employers to increase their sophistication when seeking and recruiting specific skills to meet client needs.
"However, in an increasingly competitive talent sourcing environment, employers in Greater China would rather provide training and development to existing staff as a counter to hiring during a talent shortage,” Chui said.