HR Trends in Hong Kong 2024
As we step into 2024, HR in Hong Kong is undergoing a transformation marked by key trends that will shape the employment landscape. Senior Director Ringo Lau explores the highs of salary inflation, the quest for unique talent, the surge in global mobility, and the balancing act between top-tier talent costs and organisational efficiency.
Salary Inflation Remains High But Will Slow Down
When comparing overall packages to previous years and considering experience levels, it is clear that salary inflation remains high in Hong Kong. Offering at least 20% more than before for the same skill set has become the norm. This can be attributed to factors such as a low unemployment rate, the demand for unique skill sets, companies rebuilding their capabilities after COVID-19, etc. However, as the macroeconomy stabilises and uncertainties arise in some of the largest economies, we can expect the heat to cool down this year.
Continued Demand for Unique Talent
Organisations are increasingly seeking exceptional HR talent with unique skill sets. Our conversations with leading multinational corporations focus on future skills, unique experiences, an international background (having worked or been based in multiple markets), and distinct abilities. Most companies target a specific group of high-potential individuals or those with exceptional skill sets. The demand for such talent remains high, and securing them is no easy task. Aligning all the stars can sometimes be a challenge. This trend is expected to continue in Hong Kong and could be unaffected by economic cycles.
Increased Mobility of Global Talent
Over the past year, we have seen a renewed, post-pandemic interest in global talent mobility and, specifically, a heightened interest in the flexible Hong Kong market.
Unlike in the past, where relocation searches were occasional, we now receive proactive inquiries from international talent seeking opportunities in Asia almost every week. These talents are often interested in careers in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other parts of Asia.
Balancing High-Calibre Talent Costs vs Profitability and Efficiency
One of the key challenges we have faced this year is balancing the escalating costs of recruiting top-tier talent and maintaining profitability and efficiency. As organisations raise their expectations of talent, it inevitably leads to an increase in human capital costs. Costs should remain stable while teams become more capable and streamlined through the use of technology and AI. However, reaching this balance will be an interesting debate within the industry – triggering various solutions.
Re-defining Employer Branding
Managing employer branding and company culture has always been a critical topic. However, as companies pursue the same pool of unique HR talent, they need to take employer branding to the next level. Having the right human touch is more important than ever in differentiating an organisation from its competitors. Every step of the hiring process matters, and the human element plays a significant role. While talent can be attracted to a company because of its brand, product, and services, what truly sets a company apart is the hiring manager, the peers, the people, and the care displayed throughout the process.
Talent Decisions Driven by Business Climates
In the upcoming year, the HR industry will witness significant shifts in talent decision-making and the role of HR itself. A deeper connection between the business and HR goes beyond the focus on HR transformation seen in recent years. We anticipate the business climate 2024 to be polarised, and some businesses may experience downturns. HR leaders will need to navigate these challenges and make talent decisions that align with broader business strategies.
HR Going Back to Basics
As businesses may shift their focus towards cost efficiency and productivity, the role of HR will need to return to basics. While values like diversity, equity, inclusion, people-centric approaches, and growth mindset have been emphasised during periods of growth, HR will now need to consider how it can drive a better organisation by focusing on effective organisational structures, optimising labour costs and enhancing productivity. In 2024, HR will be crucial in driving a sustainable business by returning to fundamental principles. This shift does not necessarily mean taking on a “good cop” role but rather leveraging their expertise to support cost efficiency, productivity, and the organisation’s overall success.
Change is the Only Constant
In 2024, only one thing remains certain – change is the only constant.
From the soaring salary inflation to the global quest for unique talent and the delicate dance of balancing costs and efficiency, organisations in Hong Kong are navigating uncharted waters. The redefinition of employer branding emerges as a key strategy, emphasising the importance of the human touch in attracting and retaining top-tier talent. While uncertainties lie ahead, we maintain our positive outlook. Exciting opportunities await those prepared to adapt and innovate.
Reach out to our team in Hong Kong to discuss how we can connect your organisation to world-class HR talent in Hong Kong and around the world.
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