HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Property and construction lead job hiring landscape in 2019: report

Job postings in the industry rose 8%.

Hong Kong’s industries with the greatest ranked increase in the number of job postings were led by property & construction (8%) followed by financial services & fintech (6%), consumer & retail (5%) and legal practice (5%), according to Michael Page’s latest Salary Benchmark 2019 report.

The most sought-out roles observed in the property and construction industry included architects and engineers, retail leasing, data and technology innovation management, corporate finance professionals and property management.

The report, which provides an overview of market and employment trends, found that Hong Kong’s employment landscape is buoyed not just by hi-tech specialisms and businesses, but also by the city’s traditional economic drivers, such as financial services, property development and hospitality, as 70% of jobseekers have a favourable view of the economic situation.

According to Howard Chan, regional director of Michael Page Hong Kong, the growth of retail, together with new F&B market entries, reflects an upswing in sentiment towards a healthy economy, all of which fuel hiring activity. In-demand roles in the consumer and retail sector were noted to be frontline sales and operations professionals, e-commerce omnichannel specialists, key account and trade marketing managers, as well as customer analytics project managers.

“However, though the fintech industry and start-up market are growing fast, the greatest demand for talent originates from traditional lead industries like property & construction, and financial services as they race to keep up with the city’s economic opportunities,” he added.

The report further noted how the announcement of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) outline development plan is anticipated to be another driver for Hong Kong’s employment landscape. Whilst the GBA economy has always been considered to be more focused on technology, the blueprint revealed that successful construction of the area will also create job opportunities in property development, urban planning, construction, manufacturing as well as financial services.

Strategic management roles and service roles that are highly communicative are expected to remain in high demand for talent, Michael Page highlighted. In particular, corporate banks are likely to set up GBA and non-borrowing teams to capture more cross-border business as Hong Kong is expected to strengthen its offshore private banking establishments.

With those initiatives in mind, the skills in demand include big data analysis and data optimisation, setting up and developing e-commerce and mobile payment systems, as well as digital performance marketing and online content strategy.

“The overall service sector is on the rise, and this is particularly evident in business and tech consulting. Hi-tech skills and understanding will be key to Hong Kong’s growth for years to come, even more so than purely hi-tech roles. Business leaders should focus on training professionals in new technologies,” Chan said.

A spike in demand for contracting hires is also expected in 2019 as the millennial and Gen-Z workforce increase their focus on personal growth and work-life balance.

Employers in Hong Kong, which were traditionally more interested in full-time hires, have been evolving to attract talent, and are likely to have ‘slash’ careers, providing contract services to different companies simultaneously, instead of having one full-time job. The gig economy is no longer just for creative roles.

Contract positions are also slated to be in demand within financial services, as well as multinationals, and Hong Kong’s contracting talent pool will continue to expand in 2019 as more candidates seek short-term positions, according to the report.

Chan noted that these specialist contracting hires are a viable option to companies in Hong Kong facing a headcount limit or talent crunch. He advises, “Training and development opportunities are essential to attract contract workers, as more professionals in Hong Kong have begun to consider contracting as a chance to gain exposure and grow professionally.” 

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