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HK hiring expectations rise

Carol Ko | July 9, 2009
Employers optimistic that Asia's recovery will begin by year-end

HONG KONG, 9 JULY 2009 Hiring expectations have risen for the first time since the first quarter of 2008, according to The Hudson Report.

In the new survey of more than 400 executives across key business sectors, all interviewed during May this year, 22 per cent plan to increase hiring in the third quarter of 2009, compared with 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2009. The percentage of execs expecting lower headcount has fallen from 22 per cent to 12 per cent during the same period.

Hudson, a provider of permanent recruitment, contract professionals and talent management services worldwide, today released findings of its comprehensive quarterly The Hudson Report for Asia.

With its reputation as a key socio-economic indicator in the current marketplace since its Asia launch in 1998, the survey has been built on the premise that employers' expectations of an increase or decrease in staffing levels represent a significant indication of their level of optimism in the growth of their organisation and their industry as a whole.

The Hudson Report surveys the expectations of nearly 2,000 key employment decision-makers from multinationals of all sizes in all major sectors.

Significant findings in The Hudson Report Hong Kong Q3 2009 are:

▪ Of the more than 400 Hong Kong executives surveyed, 22 per cent expect to increase hiring in their companies compared with 14 per cent in the previous quarter;

▪ Despite this quarter's rise, hiring expectations in all the sectors are much lower than in the same quarter a year ago. In the third quarter of 2008, 42 per cent of respondents planned to increase hiring, compared to 22 per cent this quarter. This is unsurprising in the light of the changes in the global economy;

▪ Respondents in Hong Kong are more optimistic about prospects for economic recovery in Asia than those in the other markets surveyed, with 59 per cent anticipating recovery by mid-2010;

▪ Employee motivation and retention, career development and communication are seen as the most important people-related issues to be addressed over the next 12 months;

▪ Overall, 37 per cent of respondents say the economic climate means they can reduce starting salaries for new managerial staff, a much higher reduction than in the third quarter of 2008;

▪ Reductions in starting salaries are relatively limited, however, with just 23 per cent of respondents lowering salaries by more than 10 per cent.

Hiring expectations rising again in Hong Kong

Hiring expectations are rising this quarter, for the first time since the first quarter of 2008. Across all sectors, 22 per cent of respondents plan to increase headcount, up from 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2009. With the exception of the consumer sector, all sectors report higher expectations. The proportion of respondents who expect to shed staff is falling sharply, from 22 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 to 12 per cent this quarter.


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