SUBSCRIBE: Newsletter

Human Resources



Three things HR must know about recruitment in Hong Kong this year

HR Masterclass Series: We're going virtual! New courses, new formats!
Review the 2020 masterclasses here »


When demand outstrips supply how do you go about winning the talent war, retain star employees and upskill for a rapidly changing future? Experts from Randstad Hong Kong, CA Technologies, Tata Communications, BT and Richemont unpack the most important recruitment trends for HR in Hong Kong in 2018 and beyond.

Tech for talent acquisition

This is one of the main points for many companies says, Natellie Sun, managing director at Randstad, Hong Kong:

This is a big challenge in Hong Kong where the unemployment rate has only decreased quarter-on-quarter in 2017 and most recently reported to be under 3%, resulting in a talent-short pool. HR teams have come together to form communities to discuss best practices as well as the benefits and challenges of using applicant tracking system (ATS) software, digitised interview methods and artificial intelligence (AI), among other new HR technology, as part of their talent acquisition and engagement process. From our conversations with some of the leading brands, there is a big spike of interest in this area and companies are willing to adopt innovative technologies to improve efficiency and productivity, as well as to gain a competitive advantage to attract the best talent.

I see one of the big recruitment trends for 2018 will be the increase in the use of digital or video interview. We will see more and more companies using it especially for first round screening and especially in volume recruitment, says Michelle Long head of talent acquisition and development at Richemont:

Many banks and consulting firms are already using it. Video screening will give candidates a voice and let them tell their story instead of just a piece of paper with words. This will eliminate bias and guesswork and recruiters can actually see how candidates come across, communicate and answer the questions. Recruiters can then get a deeper insight into the candidates and assess their cultural fit. It also saves the recruiter a lot of time spent on going through CVs that more or less are similar. Also, more candidates can be screened in a shorter amount of time and only the finalist candidates will be met face to face. Video interviews also give the candidates the opportunity early on to clearly present and express themselves in the way that they like where a resume or a conversation over the phone cannot do so. They can also do the interview in their own time and in their own space which allows lots of flexibility.

Processes and strategies today are being decoded in terms of data-dependent strategies, removing any ambiguity in processes and results.

This demystification today is further trickling down to hiring processes to ensure a better quality of talent addition in the company. Meanwhile, advanced analytics are utilising several tools that help with better sourcing of candidates.

Adds, Aadesh Goyal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Communications

Reskilling for the future

Due to a talent shortage in the Asia Pacific and Japan region, companies need to shift their focus to reskilling employees, providing continuous training and educational opportunities for them to grow, rather than expecting to find the perfect candidate right away, says Martin Mackay, president and general manager for Asia Pacific and Japan at CA Technologies.

Thanks to improvements in technology, a large number of jobs in the future are likely to change radically or disappear. This disruption to the job market is driven by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. Experts have predicted that the 4th Industrial Revolution will result in a net loss of five million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies globally.

Reskilling opens up more career pathways and clears a way to a better life for a large number of workers that are at risk of being marginalised by technological advancements.

To bring out the best of what technology has to offer, both governments and businesses need to work together to ensure that they have a diverse and digitally skilled workforce that is capable of taking on the new jobs of the future.

Having talents with the right digital skillsets will be the cornerstone of success in the technology-shaped future.

Some companies are faced with a skill shortage among their staff, which means they have to shift their focus to reskilling employees and providing continuous training and educational opportunities, says Usha Baidya, vice president, human resources, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at BT

Talent acquisition and retention have always been topics of great discussion and debate across enterprises and academics globally. The advent of the digital economy has quickened the pace and the intensity of these conversations, says Goyal.

Value engineered and highly designed HR strategies and policies are becoming the mainstay of all conversations as organisations deal with digital disruption across various functions.  Today, it is important to innovate to form new digital tools to create seamless experiences for employees. The aim is to create an ecosystem of learning and development that will help nurture talent across levels and functions which works to not only retain talent but also acquire good resources.

Randstad’s Sun added

We are also starting to see larger companies with strong HR support looking at innovative talent management platforms that can help improve employee engagement and retention in order to reduce attrition rate in Hong Kong and also across Asia Pacific.

In particular, there is increased focus around e-learning platforms to enhance employee engagement and provide support to upskill.

These learning and development channels can also provide Hong Kong professionals with an agile learning process, which they can participate in at their own pace to improve career progression opportunities, resulting in a win-win situation for both the company and the employee.


Talent management strategies

Companies have to come up with different ideas and programs to attract potential employees due to a talent shortage in the AMEA region at present says Baidya.

BT, for instance, has implemented a robust and market relevant Employee Value Proposition (EVP) program to compete for candidates with key skill sets in the region.

The company runs complimentary wellness and mindfulness programmes, lunch and learn sessions for providing a more dynamic learning platform for employees, as well as a comprehensive Graduate Programme to boost the value of employees with the company’s help.

Human capital management tools are more advanced and are at the forefront of transforming HR strategies that are already widely used outside of Hong Kong, such as the US or UK, says Randstad’s Sun.

These tools aim to improve the productivity level of the HR function and we have already seen select innovators within Hong Kong adopting such tools to improve their analytics on employee performance and behaviour to drive more data-driven decisions in real time

In Hong Kong, as with our Asian counterparts, a majority of the companies are still in the infant stages of integrating innovative technology with their HR function.

Most of us are exploring these opportunities with the common understanding that we need to change the way we work in today’s rapidly-changing world – starting from having a thorough understanding of candidates’ and employees’ career motivators.

As HR technology improves at an astronomical rate, the adoption rate is also expected to pick up and shift from the desired notion to be considered, to a must-have yardstick that sets the HR team and business up for success.

ALSO READ: How-to: Use blockchain technology for recruitment

Learn at your own convenience with Uniqskills Asia. Top quality online training courses
accessible anywhere, anytime. Learn more about the available courses »

Read More News