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Escalating skills shortages make staff retention crucial

  • 39% of employers surveyed say staff turnover will increase in the second quarter
  • Retention is already a major focus for 35% of companies
  • Performance based rewards are being used as the primary retention strategy

Employers in Hong Kong are finding it more difficult to attract and retain high performers in the face of an intensifying skills shortage, according to the latest Michael Page Employment Index. Of the companies surveyed for this report, 39% expect their level of staff turnover to increase in the second quarter. This is higher than the comparative surveys of China (37%), Australia (29%) and Singapore (25%).

In response to this business risk, 35% of employers in Hong Kong are placing a major focus on staff retention. Performance based reward is the most common retention strategy, followed by increases to base salary and the provision of training and professional development.

“The level of hiring activity we are seeing in 2011 is remarkable. Multinationals are investing heavily in Hong Kong as a world-class business centre on the doorstep of China. This is a key driver behind the growing demand for professional workers,” said Mr. Anthony Thompson, Managing Director of Michael Page, Hong Kong and Southern China.

For the majority of employers surveyed for this report (65%), recruitment for the second quarter will be focused on revenue generating roles in areas such as sales and account management. Support functions like marketing and technology are also being expanded in order to manage the increasing levels of business activity.

“The demand for professional skills is already outweighing supply across professional occupation groups in Hong Kong. This will intensify over coming months and companies will have to offer more than competitive salaries in their quest for talent. Employer branding and the opportunity for career progression are also important considerations,” said Mr. Thompson.