This recent study by specialist recruiters Michael Page Hong Kong surveyed 1,042 workers in Hong Kong and reveals that 40% of employees have changed roles since the pandemic started. This data indicates a fundamental shift in the workforce’s relationship with their jobs, leading to an “Invisible Revolution” characterized by a more transactional approach to work.
Further illustrating this trend, Mark Tibbatts, Managing Director of Michael Page Hong Kong & Taiwan says, “There is an increasing appetite for genuine human interaction. Employers need to provide meaningful personal interactions throughout the hiring and employment process to make their employees feel valued. In the aftermath of lockdowns and restrictions, people are more eager to interact with others. While technology in the workplace has enabled flexible work arrangements, in-person social connections are gaining a new appreciation as they fulfil a fundamental human social need.”
The report highlights the importance of pay in this new landscape. Three in ten employees reported feeling impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, and 19% have not received a pay rise in the last two years. The study suggests that employees are increasingly monetising their time and are unwilling to accept lower pay if they can earn more elsewhere.
In worsening economic conditions, 56% of people will also actively seek new jobs, showing increased career proactivity and desire for better opportunities and conditions.
In light of the ongoing “Great Resignation”, the report identifies the need for employers to rethink their resourcing models. The study suggests that recruitment will need to be continuous, rather than on-demand, to keep up with higher attrition rates.
The report also underscores the importance of a clearly articulated Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that goes beyond pay and flexibility. It suggests that reflecting worker priorities in an EVP could be a great differentiator when it comes to hiring new staff or retaining existing talent.
In response to these findings, the report recommends that employers should empathise more with talent’s newly empowered position and clearly define training, career development, and the resulting compensation to minimise attrition for new joiners.
Nicholas Kirk, CEO at PageGroup, said, “The trends in Hong Kong mirror the sentiment of the global talent market – every region has seen a transformative change across all age groups, markets, and industries.
“These are not fleeting trends or reactionary responses to a period of turbulence. Rather, they are reshaping the workplace in a way that will subtly yet fundamentally change the way businesses attract and retain their talent.”