Hong Kong Employers Still Have Problems Filling Accounting, Finance Roles

Image: busracavus/ iStock

Accounting and finance roles are among the hardest to fill in Hong Kong, ranked sixth among the top 10 according to results of a survey released by ManpowerGroup on Friday.

The recruitment firm surveyed 39,195 employers across 43 countries and territories, including 365 from Hong Kong, to discover how much difficulty they have filling jobs; which job categories are particularly hard to fill and why and uncover what strategies are being adopted to overcome these challenges.

According to the firm,  accounting and finance roles in the survey include certified accountants, auditors, and financial analysts.

In general, 76% of Hong Kong employers report difficulty filling jobs while 92% recognize they are having more or similar difficulty to fill jobs this year than around the same time last year, ManpowerGroup said.

Among the most common difficulties filling roles as cited by Hong Kong employers are: “lack of available applicants” (40%), “lack of experience” (19%), and “Applicants expect higher pay than offered” (14%), the recruitment firm noted.

In response to shortages, over 80% of Hong Kong employers plan to offer higher salary packages and additional perks/benefits to attract applicants, according to survey results. 

In addition, employers finally begin to attune to the fact that employees, particularly the latest generation of staff are desperate for training in the workforce, an element many employers had not seriously considered in the past, Lancy Chui, Senior Vice President of ManpowerGroup Greater China Region pointed out. 

She said that 32% of Hong Kong employers are beginning to actively invest in learning platforms and development tools to build their talent pipeline.

Globally, 45%  of the 40,000 employers surveyed indicate that they struggle to fill roles as well while global talent shortage are at their highest levels in 12 years, ManpowerGroup said. 

The firm suggests employers adopting the followings to tackle the talent shortage issue:

  • Invest in learning and development to grow talent pipelines and upskill existing and potential workforce
  • In a tight labor market, go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the time frame required to fill immediate openings;
  • Cultivate communities of talent inside and outside the organization, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers with a view to complementing existing workforce
  • Help people move up within, or outside the organization