Hong Kong's Overall Average Staff Turnover Rate at 20.1 Percent in 2013

An overall average staff turnover rate of 20.1% was recorded for 2013 in the Survey on Manpower Statistics – Third and Fourth Quarters 2013 and Year 2013 conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), the highest since the survey was in place in 2002. With a robust employment market, higher job vacancy rate was resulted while hiring intentions in the first half of 2014 remained positive.

Since 2002, the HKIHRM Survey on Manpower Statistics collected data on a quarterly basis to track manpower movement in Hong Kong’s labour market. Starting from the second half of 2013, the survey was conducted on a half-yearly basis. A total of 81 companies participated in the Q3 and Q4 2013 survey conducted in February 2014, covering 123,375 employees. Key data obtained from the survey include staff turnover, job vacancy, position growth/cut, staff absence rate and hiring intentions.

“The overall average staff turnover rate of 20.1% in 2013 was in fact record high," said Francis Mok, President of the HKIHRM. "With unemployment rate ranging from 3.2% to 3.5% throughout 2013, we can see the pressure employers had in recruitment and employee retention. We foresee this trend to continue in 2014 since the economic outlook is still optimistic.”

The top three sectors with the highest staff turnover rate are construction/property development/real estate (45.5%), (30.4%), and restaurant/catering (29.8%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest turnover rate at 25.1%.

The top three sectors with the highest job vacancy rate are retail (12.2%), restaurant/catering (7.6%), and construction/property development/real estate (5.6%).

In terms of employee level, clerical/frontline staff recorded the highest job vacancy rate at 5.3%.

The net growth in new positions during the second half of 2013 was 1.1% The top three sectors with the highest net growth in new positions restaurant/catering (5.8%), retail (3.3%), and wholesale, import/export, trading, distribution (2.7%).

In terms of employee level, middle management/non-managerial professionals recorded the highest position growth rate (1.7%).

Among the 81 participating companies, 73 companies provided data on their hiring intentions for the first half of 2014.

The top three sectors reporting the strongest intentions to increase hiring are restaurant/catering (75%), telecommunication (50%), and construction/property development/real estate (37.5%).

There are no strong indicators showing any drastic changes to the local labour market. Hiring intentions of the respondents remained positive with more than 90% of them planning to increase hiring or remain hiring as of Q4 2013. However, sectors recording higher staff turnover rates may have to consider more effective HR practices for employee retention.

"While pay adjustment may not be the ultimate solution to high turnover, employers have to think out of the box to find out what their staff need in terms of benefits, career development or work environment/conditions,” says Mok.

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