HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hiring freeze imminent in 2021: survey

Lowest salary increase in 10 years also predicted for the year.

Many companies seem to have a cautious outlook for 2021 as a survey said 63% of companies consider freezing the hiring process or maintaining their headcounts, whilst 7% acknowledge layoff plans to decrease operational costs, with frontline staff expected to take the biggest hit, according to a report by JobsDB.

The report also revealed that employers are predicting a mere 0.8% pay rise in 2021, which is 1.9% lower than the forecast last year which JobsDB said is the lowest estimate in 10 years.

Though many companies are mulling over a hiring freeze, more than half are looking at 2021 more positively as 64% of enterprises expect an employment revival to pre-pandemic levels within the year with recruiters paying greater attention to candidate personalities and work ethics.

“There has been an apparent change in attitude among companies following the pandemic. While candidates’ relevant experience remains the top criteria for employers (70%), their personality, attitude and compatibility with the corporate culture is the second most crucial requirement (45%), ranking higher than “Expectations for Salary and Benefits” (36%) and “Academic Qualification” (32%). Moreover, 5% more employers (42%) have recruited fresh graduates over the past 12 months,” said JobsDB.

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