3 Criteria to Winning the IT Talent War in Hong Kong

The market demands IT professionals. Between the record low unemployment rates in Hong Kong and the growing market demands, businesses are pressured to compete for the best talent.

Since early 2018, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has stayed at a record low of 2.8% according to Trading Economics. This is the lowest unemployment rate in over 21 year since January 1998. Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate has been at a steady 60.7%. While this is  a good sign for the Hong Kong economy, it also means a stiffer competition for companies to attract and retain the talent they need to grow their business.

Hong Kong unemployment rate :


source: tradingeconomics.com

3 Key Factors Contributing to the Demand of IT Professionals

Besides pressures from the record low unemployment rate in Hong Kong, at Links Recruitment, we’re also seeing a rising demand in the market for IT professionals. A lot of this interest can be attributed to the booming digital economy and the rise of innovative technologies. 

Experienced in recruiting for IT professionals, we’ve singled out 3 key factors in particular that have pushed IT professionals into becoming the hot commodity that they are today in the talent market.

1. Market Knowledge & Understanding

From the rise of virtual banks to the use of smartphones as one of our daily drivers in business, CEOs are coming to understand that technology and digital innovation are critical to the operation of a business in the current day and age.

2. Front end: Refined Customer Experience

Company’s growth is tied to the customer experience which is now highly dependant on digital technologies.

3. Back end: Rising Expectations in HR tech

With the growing digital demands, it is costing businesses more and more to maintain legacy systems. This is also propelled by the expectations by the younger generation of workforce making it the “consumer” experience at work a necessity for retention and productivity.

In the interest of businesses’ well-being and to reduce costs for the long run, more leaders are seeing the utility of using technology as a means of innovation and change.

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3 Criteria to Winning the IT Talent War in Hong Kong 

Are you experiencing a hard time filling your IT roles? Optimise your recruitment process by learning about the three key criteria to winning over the best IT candidates. 

The Compensation - Don’t skim on your prized asset

Good talent does not come at a discount - you want people who are smart, a quality that demands respect. Instead of trying to save a few bucks in the short run by offering a mediocre rate or worse, low-balling talent, businesses will benefit much more from providing a generous package to the careful selection of talent that’s willing to help grow the business.

To attract top IT talent, companies are coming out with a suite of tricks, offering various types of compensation including:

  • Annual/ biannual bonuses
  • Profits sharing options
  • Spot bonuses
  • Sign-on bonuses
  • Deferred compensation plans
  • Retention bonuses


The Role - Plan your structure

A common frustration IT executives face is with roles being highly accountable yet with little empowerment or means to carry out their decisions in the workplace. This is a result of businesses, often inventing roles in IT to fill a need without properly addressing the internal political challenges or figuring out a viable reporting structure that works in the long run. Having been burnt by such experiences, IT executives are often weary and stay clear from quirky titles, levels, and reporting structures.

The Recruitment Process - No time to lose

According to CIO, in  2018, it took companies an average of 4.5 weeks to extend and offer and when candidates didn’t receive a response within two weeks from the first interview, it was likely they will move on. With the IT talent shortage, we’re seeing a similar fast hiring trend in 2019. For top candidates especially, who are often sitting on multiple offers, if your company takes too long to extend an offer, they might just choose another opportunity.

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Have a talent plan
Proper workforce management can help minimise work fatigue and employee burnout. A good talent strategy not only helps attract talent but also helps retain your best people, keeping them from being taken by competitors. 

Update your HR infrastructure
The “consumer” experience is no longer only for the consumer. If your business is still relying heavily on old infrastructure, it can send a negative message to your IT talent. Stop lagging behind and update your internal HR solution to meet the needs and expectations of your ideal tech candidate.

Speed up the recruitment process
Optimise your recruitment process by hiring with Links Recruitment. With 20 years of recruitment services in Asia, our IT recruitment specialists are skilled and identifying the talent you need to grow your business. Have an urgent role to fill? Click here to submit your details!


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With 20 years of recruitment experience in Asia, Links has been trusted by over 10,000 clients with finding the best people to build their businesses. Get in touch with own of our representatives and learn how we can help you expand your team.

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Links International

Links International

Links International is an award-winning industry leader in innovative human resources outsourcing in Asia. Links was established in 1999 and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Zhuhai, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia.

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