Hong Kong CFOs’ Headache: It’s a Jobseekers’ Market

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Finance jobseekers in Hong Kong are becoming increasingly impatient during the recruitment process.

A total of 83% of Hong Kong CFOs say candidates have become more unwilling to wait to find out if they got the job compared to 12 months ago, said recruitment agency Robert Half that recently released findings of a survey of 150 CFOs within the finance, accounting and financial services sectors in Hong Kong.

Attitudes towards job interviews are changing

Hong Kong has long battled a skills shortage, particularly within the financial sectors – which is putting top candidates in a more favorable position during the recruitment process, Robert Half pointed out.

When asked why finance candidates have become more unwilling to wait to find out if they got the job, almost half (49%) of CFOs cited a change of attitude in job applicants – which is indicative of the power balance shift towards candidates in a skills-short market, survey results indicate.

Other reasons for candidates’ impatient attitude

Other reasons why finance candidates have become more impatient during the hiring process include an increase in counteroffers (43%), an increase in jobs available for finance candidates (36%), an increase in the number of interview rounds (22%) and an increase in the total duration of the hiring process (10%) – which are all firm indicators that Hong Kong employers need to streamline their hiring process and make a decision fast once they have found a suitable candidate in order to secure the best talent for the role, Robert Half said.

First impressions count

In another study of 500 jobseekers across Hong Kong commissioned by Robert Half, more than four in 10 (41%) admit they decide whether they would or wouldn’t accept a position straight after the first meeting.

Highlighting that first impressions count, a further one fifth (18%) know if they are interested after the first communication (call/email) or even within the first five minutes of the interview, the recruitment firm said.

One in 10 (11%) wait until the contractual negotiations or until they have completed subsequent interviews to decide, survey results indicate.

Why employees leave during the first month

Even once candidates have accepted a role, 91% admit they would consider leaving a job within their first month and 94% during their probation period, according to survey results.

Reasons for leaving during the first month include a discrepancy between the job in practice and how it was advertised (48%), followed by poor management (46%).

More than four in 10 (42%) cite a mismatch with the corporate culture and 29% refer to a lack of proper onboarding. Little over one in five (22%) say they would leave if they receive a more attractive job offer.