Employers ‘less keen to hire’ in early 2015

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By HR ASIA

Due to the sluggish mainland economic outlook for 2015, Hong Kong employers have shownlittle interest in hiring more staff. Edmond Tang / China Daily

Hong Kong employers are not keen to hire staff in the first quarter of 2015, according to asurvey conducted by human resources company Manpower Group.

Only 18 percent of 801 Hong Kong employers interviewed said they expected an increase intheir staffing levels in the first quarter, while 76 percent of them said they saw no changes inemployment, and 3 percent predicted a decrease in staff levels.

Manpower said its Hong Kong’s Net Employment Outlook (NEO), calculated by subtractingthose employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire, stands at +15percent – unchanged compared with the previous quarter and remaining relatively stable year-over-year.

Employers in the manufacturing sector reported an NEO of +6 percent for the secondconsecutive quarter – down by 7 percentage points compared with a year earlier.

“Despite a slight increase in the most recent PMI (Purchasing Managers Index), the client orderdemand on the mainland was notably weak. It weakens the confidence of employers and slowsdown hiring,” said Lancy Chui Yuk-shan, regional managing director of Manpower Group’sGreater China operations.

The service sector’s NEO stands at +19 percent – 4 percent down over the previous quarter.

“Staff expectations in the catering, healthcare and IT services fields have strengthened overall.However, employers continue to be challenged by talent shortages in the industry,” Chui said. “Talent deficits exist in the service-related areas, particularly in catering, cleaning services andhealthcare,” she said.

Optimistic hiring plans were reported in the mining and construction sectors, with their NEOstanding at +25 percent – the highest since the first quarter of 2012. Hiring prospects increasedby 3 percent quarter-on-quarter and 8 percent year-on-year.

“More than 74,000 housing units have been projected for development by governmentstatistics. As such, employers in the mining and construction sectors are reporting positivehiring intentions for both housing and infrastructure,” Chui explained.

“For the first time in many years, we’re actually seeing an increasing number of the youngergeneration joining the industry due to more attractive salaries and benefits on offer. However,the tough working environment takes its toll as many young people do not stay long,” sheadded.

Manpower Group releases its NEO survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions toincrease or decrease the number of employees in their workforce in the next quarter. Thecompany polled more than 65,000 employers in 42 economies.

news source & image credit: chinadaily.com.cn

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