5 cost-effective strategies to attract and retain talent under HK’s emigration wave

Updated: Sep 29


Recent statistics from the government show that the population in Hong Kong has fallen for the third year in a row. This is reflected in the labour force, as a study conducted by Randstad in 2022 in Hong Kong with 1,000 participants aged between 18 to 67 found that 29% of HongKongers have quit jobs in the past few years. How can companies take a more proactive approach to reduce and even prevent an increase in employee turnover? Here is how to be more effective at attracting talent, as well as some takeaways that will help companies increase employee morale. Companies without a turnover issue can still implement these strategies to get an increase in employee engagement and productivity.



Proactive recruitment strategy


Attracting top talent begins at the recruiting process, since this is the first point of contact with potential candidates. The first step to successful recruitment is to attract the most suitable candidates to apply for a position you are hiring. Many companies make the mistake of only listing job descriptions(role requirements, skills, tasks, expectations) along with salary and benefits without giving a feel of their company culture, making it hard to differentiate from other postings.


After shortlisting a number of candidates, it’s time for interviews. It’s important to remember that candidates are also assessing your company as well, which is especially true for highly qualified candidates who may be receiving interviews from other companies simultaneously. Sufficient training should be provided to HR and department heads so they are aware of questions they should and shouldn’t ask to present the company in the best light possible.


Employee referrals is a good option as current employees have an intimate knowledge of your company’s expectations, as well as a more direct approach of recruitment by utilizing their own personal networks which helps to increase as opposed to posting job openings on general recruitment boards, To encourage this, companies can offer bonuses to employees with successful referrals to get others involved in the hiring process.



Workplace flexibility


Just how important is flexibility to employees in Hong Kong? Very important. A study by Randstand in HK found that 65% of respondents said that they want to have the flexibility to choose their working hours. Perhaps more surprising is that up to 35% will turn down a job offer if it doesn’t provide flexible working hours, and almost half of the participants would rather be unemployed than be unsatisfied at their current jobs. These numbers reflect a growing phenomenon of employees taking steps to prioritize work-life balance. In addition, participants ranked workplace flexibility as the joint-most attractive quality when job searching, alongside appealing salary and benefits.


Companies should look at work flexibility as a win-win solution, as employees have expressed that being able to work in their desired hours and environment greatly increases their productivity thus meeting deadlines consistently without reducing the quality of their work. Adopting this culture also reduces overhead costs, increases operational efficiency, and increases suitable candidates for recruitment by including people who prioritize flexible working hours(working parents, the younger generation, and contracting/part time workers etc.).


Implement a reward system


A lot of employees have reported feeling undervalued at work, prompting companies to introduce programs that reward them for their achievements and efforts, such as employee(s) of the month. Rewarding employees who are outperforming expectations allows them to feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment, as well as encouraging healthy competition among others without adding too much pressure.


Normalize internal mobility


Most employees gain satisfaction from being able to progress in their careers. Therefore, it is a core part of recruitment for companies to highlight any opportunities for further training that will benefit the employee. Not long after hiring, companies should work with new employees to develop a clear path of advancement. However, vertical movements within the company aren’t always open(or as frequent as employees would like). Allowing lateral moves as an alternative can make employees feel like they are going through career development and avoid burnout and stagnation. Lateral moves can involve relocation to another office or changing teams. Make sure to display a sense of opportunity within the company. If employees feel like they are working a dead-end job, rest assured they will start looking for opportunities outside the company.


Up to date and innovative technology


A survey by Workfront suggests millennials and young employees consider having up to date technology provided by their companies to be very important in being productive and avoid frustrations at work. This is exacerbated under pandemic as people are often working remotely and there is a greater demand for up to date technology that helps teams stay connected with each other.


Innovative technology can also attract talent, as some surveyees have reported to apply for a job after learning they use great technology. HR systems can transform daily operations by massively reducing time spent on calculating payroll, creating performance reports, handling expense and leave claims. An integrated payroll system can reduce workload by automatically making adjustments to wages by factoring in data from attendance and leave records, while being fully in compliance with regional labor laws. Employee claims can be handled through an employee portal that allows them to apply for leave and claim expenses online whenever they wish, even outside work hours. With less time spent on processes that can be automated, managers can plan retention strategies like evaluations to understand employees’ needs and whether they are feeling stuck, and they will be able to implement policies that cater to these needs.


As we are still in the midst of the pandemic, companies are experiencing a higher proportion of absenteeism due to illness, serving an isolation order, or for childcare reasons. Using emails to excel or email to record and monitor absence is obsolete and impossible to scale up for large companies. Alternatively, a HR system with an employee portal enables employees and managers to log and approve time off and help companies track the primary causes of absence.


Furthermore, cloud based HRMS will allow employees to access their work regardless of whether they choose to work on site or remotely and Saas module HRMS can keep employee data and payroll function up to date, ensuring workers are paid on time regardless if they work onsite or off.


Feel free to inquire with us through the chatbox to learn more about HR management systems.




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