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The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce released the results of its Talent Shortage Survey 2023 on June 6, which found 74 percent of surveyed companies facing a talent shortage issue. And 21 percent of them had relocated some or all business operations from Hong Kong.
About 45 percent of the surveyed companies agreed that broadening and simplifying the existing talent admission schemes would help attract more non-local talents to Hong Kong.
The Chamber conducted the “Talent Shortage Survey” in April, receiving 196 questionnaires, of which 54 percent of the surveyed companies employed more than 200 employees, and 29 percent had a staff size of 50 or less.
The survey showed that 74 percent of the surveyed companies face a talent shortage problem, with 61 percent saying the situation lasted one to three years.
Currently, junior management positions (59 percent) are the most in demand, while senior management positions are the least affected, with only one percent of surveyed companies facing a shortage of manpower.
Hong Kong’s labor force decreased by 210,000 from early 2019 to the end of 2022, with a loss of 94,100 people in 2022.
Regarding the top three reasons for employee turnover, 79 percent of surveyed companies cited seeking higher salaries as their primary reason, followed by emigration (70 percent) and seeking work-life balance (51 percent).
In response to talent loss, 83 percent of surveyed companies offered better salary packages as their first option, followed by investing in employee development (58 percent) and promoting production automation to reduce reliance on manpower (49 percent). Another 21 percent said they had relocated some or all business operations from Hong Kong.
The Chamber stated that recruiting talents is a short-term solution that businesses prioritize. About 44 percent of surveyed companies believe that expanding and simplifying current talent import plan standards would help attract more non-local talents to Hong Kong.
As for long-term measures, the authorities need to provide professional-oriented education and training programs to help retain, train, and attract talents.
In addition, according to the Chamber’s survey, 52 percent of respondents believed that the job categories covered by the government’s talent admission scheme did not meet business needs, so only 20 percent of surveyed companies applied for the plan.