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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Three quarters of Hong Kong bosses open to foreign IT hires

Nearly half plan to offer attractive lifestyle packages to lure top talent.

Three quarters (76%) of Hong Kong chief information officers (CIOs) have expressed growing willingness to hire overseas IT talent as the city grapples with a chronic manpower shortage, according to HR consultant Robert Half.

Also read: Failure to plug talent shortage could cost Hong Kong in $1.73t lost potential revenue

The government earlier unveiled a Talent List in late August which outlines the city’s 11 most in-demand professions which include IT experts, fintech professionals, data scientists and cybersecurity experts. Eligible candidates under the Talent List may enjoy prioritised immigration treatment as Hong Kong embraces foreigners to keep its economy running.

Bosses cite expansion into international markets as the top reason for turning to overseas talent (53%) followed by unlocking the diverse skills of international candidates (46%), the survey revealed.

However, a fifth (26%) of bosses believe that the available pool of employees locally is not able to keep up pace with demand. Another 14% believe that international candidates have enhanced language skills and 11% believe such talent are less likely to leave the organisation.

Also read: Poor IT education burdens half of Hong Kong bosses

“Whilst the Hong Kong government is dedicated to cultivating high-calibre IT professionals and providing support to the technology sector, new and evolving innovations are outpacing the current local talent pool. As a result, companies are struggling to implement and develop these new technologies, putting Hong Kong at risk of being left behind in the global technology race,” Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong said in a statement.

In fact, nearly half (46%) of bosses are willing to roll out attractive lifestyle benefits like flexible work hours and on-site amenities to lure top talent whilst more than third plan offer alluring family benefits and relocation packages.

Also read: Hong Kong firms may shell out extrta $40,539 per skilled worker to avoid losing talent

Similarly, 26% of CIOs plan to roll out increased salaries and bonuses whilst 21% are eyeing housing subsidies as a way to attract international talent. Another 18% are considering giving company share portfolio whilst 11% are mulling professional development/training.

Faced with a shrinking workforce and ageing population, Hong Kong ranks fifth in the Asia Pacific markets that stands to lose the most if it fails to plug its labour deficit that’s poised to hit 1.88m by 2030, according to business consulting firm KornFerry. 

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