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Market Insights Workforce insights Jobsdb Laws of Attraction Uncovers the Secrets of What Hong Kongers Expect from Their Employers
Jobsdb Laws of Attraction Uncovers the Secrets of What Hong Kongers Expect from Their Employers

Jobsdb Laws of Attraction Uncovers the Secrets of What Hong Kongers Expect from Their Employers

Covering nearly 6,000 job seekers across 20 industries, the latest study reveals that:

  • Hong Kong workers consider "Salary and Compensation" as the main factor for joining a company. “Work-life balance” has outpaced “Career Development Opportunities” to become the second most important factor that should not be ignored by employers.

  • In terms of industry, those working in “Education & Training” and “Accounting/ Audit/ Tax” are most eager for "Work-life Balance”.

  • Candidates expect an average pay rise of 23% when changing roles.

  • Regarding overtime, almost half of respondents think they should receive overtime pay or days in lieu.

  • Gen Z is the most reluctant to be slaves to work.

  • Nearly 60% of respondents are not willing to be based in mainland China, over 30% do not want a role that involves business travel.

  • Hong Kong workers want to be ‘recognised’ and ‘respected’.

Salary and compensation remain the most important factor for Hong Kongers considering new jobs. However, according to the JobsDB “Laws of Attraction” study, the picture is changing fast with work-life balance ranks the second. In order to provide an in-depth analysis of what attracts local candidates to a job, JobsDB has conducted the largest recruitment study in Hong Kong covering nearly 6,000 job seekers across 20 industries. The result shows that 13.1% of respondents considered "Work-life Balance" the main consideration for joining a company, closely following “Salary and Compensation” (20.1%). “Career Development Opportunities” (10.3%) is only the third most important factor for respondents, indicating that employees have a strong desire to achieve a balance between both professional and personal lives.

“Over the years, we have seen a number of recruitment challenges, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. An increasing number of employers are looking to understand different behaviours and expectations of candidates, in order to create better people strategies and improve decision-making. Hence, our Laws of Attraction interactive portal will provide hirers the key data and the insights they need to build and maintain a capable and passionate workforce in a changing company,” said Isaac Shao, Country Manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong Limited.

The study also found that nearly 60% of respondents believe that following public holidays (59.6%) and a five-day work week (59%) are the most essential working conditions. In addition, 43.8% of respondents think that they receive overtime pay or days in lieu for overtime work, while 32.7% think regular working hours without overtime work is key to them feeling satisfied in their role.

No shift work or business travel

Local employees are not willing to work shifts. Some 59.5% of respondents will not consider the job if shift work is required, while 30.7% will decline an offer if it involves frequent travel. In fact, local employees are less likely to choose jobs that are based outside of Hong Kong. More than half (52.4%) of respondents are reluctant to be based in Southern China (including the Greater Bay Area) or other commercial cities (55.2%) in mainland China, and 32.1% do not want to stay overseas.

In terms of industry, those working in “Education & Training” (15.1%) and “Accounting/ Audit/ Tax” (14.3%) are the most eager for "Work-life Balance”.

“According to the Hong Kong Government's Report on Manpower Projection to 2022, the labour force will start declining in 2022. This trend, combined with aging manpower and the city’s long-term low unemployment rate, will force local employers to deepen their understanding of employees' workplace attitudes and needs. For example, employees have clearly expressed their desire for work-life balance and employers should not neglect this. Employers need to integrate work-life balance into their recruitment and retention strategies, in order to attract passionate talent and remain competitive,” adds Shao.

Gen Z welcomes the Gig Economy for work-life balance

In the meantime, Hong Kong's future economic growth will rely on the new generation who are energetic and creative. However, according to the Report on Manpower Projection to 2022, the labour force under the age of 55 will shrink from 2.96 million in 2012 to 2.83 million in 2022. It is expected that the drop for the age group of 15 to 24 will be more pronounced and there will only be a slight increase for the 25-34 age group. To better prepare for future human resources needs and business development challenges, employers will need to understand young talent, especially Generation Z (ages 18-23), and enhance their employer brand amongst this demographic.

The JobsDB Laws of Attraction study found that Generation Z places more emphasis on “Work-life balance” than other generations, with 13.6% of respondents considering this as the key driver for joining a company. In contrast, baby boomers (ages 55-64) have minimal requirements as only 10.7% think ‘Work-life balance’ is important.

Meanwhile, Gen Z has adopted a more open attitude towards the Gig Economy, being receptive to full-time jobs or freelancing. Only 27.1% of this age group consider permanent role is a “must” criteria for finding a job, which is much lower than the overall figure of 42.5%.

Stop labelling and start listening to young talent

“The findings of this large-scale study reflect the fact that younger generations have unique expectations of employers and the workplace. Many people in society have criticised the behaviour and attitudes of young employees over the past few years. With this new generation indisputably becoming the workforce mainstream, employers should look at this from a different perspective and understand how their workplace can respond.

“In fact, some organisations have started promoting non-traditional resumes and new interview processes in recent years, encouraging employers to re-examine job requirements and fully consider the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge of younger candidates, instead of focusing only on experience and qualifications. This approach has also been proven to be useful for employers when it comes to understanding their strengths and assigning suitable job roles for them to utilise their potential. Therefore, a transparent and clear company policy as well as an open culture are crucial for companies interested in attracting and nurturing these new members of workforces,” comments Shao.

Shao also said that this same open-minded attitude also applies to employees of other generations. For instance, employers should understand that workers who are not willing to work overtime should not be branded as “lazy”. Rather, they should take appropriate measures to help employees maintain a reasonable “Work-life Balance”. If an employer fails to meet the employee's need for this balance, employees may lose their passion for work, leading to poor performance or even resignations.

The study also found that if employers only offer salary and compensation to attract talent in Hong Kong where the unemployment rate has remained low for so long, potential employees would expect an average pay rise of 23%. Industries such as “Internet and Start-up” (27.15%), “Food and Beverage” (26.4%) as well as “Education and Training” (26.02%) have even higher expectations about salary increases.

It is not easy for employers to find replacements with the required experience and passion, hence the need to listen to their staff and actively promote work-life balance to create an ideal workplace, in addition to providing competitive salary and compensation.

Employees surveyed also believe that “showing recognition” (38.6%) and “being respectful” (37.7%) are key cultural drivers. Employers should show more appreciation and encouragement when appropriate, so as to enhance the brand image and attract talent.

Visit the interactive portal of JobsDB Laws of Attraction to get an in-depth analysis on what Hong Kong employees need.


About JobsDB Laws of Attraction

Finding talent is never easy, let alone getting the right people onboard. JobsDB recognises that hirers’ need advice to help them create better people strategies and improve decision-making. As a recruitment expert with more than two decades of industry experience, JobsDB can offer access to a wealth of reliable resources: insights on market employment trends, understanding candidates, and a vast candidate pool (1.9 million) who consider JobsDB as their priority job searching tool.

We believe people with passion deliver the best results for businesses – this is why we strategically build our analytic and insight tools to help hirers find correct and capable candidates who are passionate about their work and will truly embrace the corporate culture.

Laws of Attraction is the largest recruitment study in Hong Kong. It has surveyed nearly 6,000 job candidates across 20 industries and job functions, examining the key drivers that motivate them at work and ignite their passion. This is where hirers will get precise insights on what drives candidates in a job role and how hirers can strategically attract targeted groups via an interactive portal, regardless of location, time and device.

For more details, please visit JobsDB Laws of Attraction.

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