HK Employers’ Hiring Intention for Second Half of 2016 Remains Positive

The hiring intention of the majority of companies in Hong Kong remained positive for the second half of 2016 despite economic uncertainties, according to the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management’s (HKIHRM).

The Half Yearly Survey on Manpower Statistics in 2016 reveals that Hong Kong’s overall average staff turnover rate for the first half of 2016 was 10.2%, with a fall of 0.2 percentage point from 10.4% in the second half of 2015 while an average job vacancy rate of 5.2% was recorded for the first half of 2016, a drop of 1.3 percentage points from the second half of 2015.

“The survey results indicated that the vacancy rate and turnover rate in the second half of 2016 dropped from the first half of 2015, reflecting a reduction in job vacancies and a downward trend for the local economy,” says David Li, President of the HKIHRM. “Local employees had a lower inclination for job change.”

The top three sectors with the highest staff turnover rate are business services/professional services (20.6%); retail (19.1%); and construction/property development/real estate (17.8%).

The top three sectors with the lowest staff turnover rate are community/social/personal services (6%); electricity/gas/petrol (2.5%); and transport/service allied to transport (storage) (2.3%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest turnover rate at 13.1% while the lowest turnover rate was recorded for top/senior management at 3.8%.

Job vacancy rate in 2016 H1 

The top three sectors with the highest job vacancy rate are community/social/personal services (10.2%); retail (10.1%); and construction/property development/real estate (7.8%).

The top three sectors with the lowest job vacancy rate are electricity/gas/petrol (2.7%); telecommunication (2.6%); and transport/services allied to transport (storage) (1%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest job vacancy rate at 6.1% while top/senior management registered the lowest job vacancy rate at 1.5%.

Position growth/cut 

The net growth in new positions for the first half of 2016 was 1.8%, down 2.3 percentage points when compared with the second half of 2015, and down 3 percentage points year on year.

The top three sectors with the highest net growth in new positions are financial services/banking/insurance (8.4%); business services/professional services (3.4%); and construction/property development/real estate (2.3%).

In terms of employee level, positions for middle management/non-managerial professionals recorded the highest net growth at 2.1% while positions at top/senior management level had the lowest net growth at 1.6%.

Absence Rate 

The overall absence rate in the first half of 2016 was 2.3%, 0.4 percentage point higher than the second half of 2015, and 1.0 percentage point higher year on year.

The top five sectors with the highest absence rate are construction/property development/real estate (2.8%); transport/services allied to transport (storage) (2.8%); electricity/gas/petrol (2.8%); manufacturing (2.5%); and community/social/personal services (2.2%).

In terms of employee level, the clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest absence rate at 2.1%, compared with supervisory/officer at 1.3%, middle management/non managerial professionals at 1.2% and top/senior management at 0.8%.

Hiring intention for second half of 2016

Among the 110 participating companies, all of them provided data on their hiring intention for the second half of 2016.

Sixty percent of the companies indicated to maintain hiring in the second half of 2016 at a level similar to that in the first half of 2016, with a higher percentage recorded in sectors including community/social/personal services; construction/property development/real estate; and transport/services allied to transport (storage).

By business sector, telecommunication; business services/professional services; and electricity/gas/petrol were the top three sectors with the strongest intention to increase hiring in the second half year of 2016, while wholesale, import/export, trading, distribution; retail; and financial services/banking/insurance were the top three sectors with the strongest intention to freeze hiring in the second half year of 2016.

“Individual industries, such as banking, retail, import/export, trading, and travel-related industries have begun to adjust headcount to ride through the economic slowdown,” says Li. “Although there have been no mass layoffs, employers remain cautious about hiring, and tend to resort to natural attrition.” 

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