There is renewed optimism for Hong Kong based contractors with the majority securing long-term contracts and 20% of contractors earning more than HK$60,000 (US$7,734) per month in 2014 which is 7% higher compared to 2013, according to the latest Contract Job Trend Data from Morgan McKinley.
The market analysis which compares contract duration, extensions and salary for Hong Kong based contractors across a range of disciplines found that, the majority (53%) of contractors were being employed on one year contracts in 2014, compared to 29% who were employed for the same duration in 2013.
In contrast, the majority of contractors in 2013 (50%) were employed for only 3-6 months.
It’s not just good news for contract length in Hong Kong, the data showed that contractors were more likely to be offered extensions (4% increase year-on-year), or permanent roles (6% increase year-on-year) in 2014 when compared with 2013.
Salary remained steady for Hong Kong’s contractors with marginal differences from 2013 to 2014. However, there were a higher number of high earning contractors in 2014 than in 2013.
“Historically, the contracting market in Hong Kong has always fared considerably behind the UK, Australia and the US in terms of its prevalence within many organisations," comments Nick Lambe, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Hong Kong.
Lambe notes that in Hong Kong, contractors have traditionally been regarded as emergency cover for straight forward tasks rather than highly skilled experts who can add value to projects or seasonal variations.
Lambe adds that organisations are increasing salaries and benefits to make the propositions more attractive to contractors. The increasing number of higher paid contractors in 2014 can be attributed to more specialist projects and/or skills set being in demand in the market and thus the more experienced and higher salaried candidates being sought by employers.
Morgan McKinley predicts that the hiring of IT, Finance, Operations, Projects, HR and Office Support contractors will continue to increase.
"In addition, experienced Hong Kong professionals who find themselves job seeking in 2015 should consider the contracting route as we are seeing the majority of contract placements being offered permanent roles by their employer when their assignment is complete,” adds Lambe.