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Talent shortage in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM) reported that 88% of the employers (and Talent Acquisition leads) in Hong Kong face talent shortage and more than 90% find it difficult to hire the right talents to fill vacancies (less top talent recruitment). This talent and skill shortage adds to the existing woes of aging population (like in Singapore and Japan) and leads to the importance of hiring the right talents and increasing the talent retention. Amidst the Digital Economy, demand for cybersecurity talents, social media managers, risk and compliance roles, blockchain and AI developers has further heightened. 

Predictive Assessments have been particularly effective when it comes to employee selection as per the book “Professional Practices of Human Resource Management in Hong Kong” by Anna Tsui and KT Lai. The book further elaborates that predictive assessments can identify and discriminate scarce skills more objectively, reliably and with a higher predictive validity of job performance.

In addition to finding the right talents, it’s critical that the talents are really what they claim to be. Human Resources Magazine highlighted that the overall resume discrepancy in Hong Kong is about 18% which is close to the Asia discrepancy of about 20%. Hong Kong’s discrepancy rate is second highest next to Australia. One of the biggest contributors to this high discrepancy rate is Education related discrepancy which stands at 28% in Hong Kong. This warrants a thorough background check on all candidates. An infamous case in Hong Kong is HSBC Bank’s scandalous hiring practices that further accentuates the importance of hiring the right talents through a properly structured background screening approach.

Hong Kong being an international hub like Singapore recruits candidates from all over the world. Hence, background screening vendors should have capability to conduct background checks globally. A candidate could have lived, studied and worked in multiple countries and based on the associated risks level of the candidate’s role, the right mix of background checks should be conducted. In addition, predictive assessments should be preferably based on global norms to check fit level of the talents in the highly globalized talent context. This would ensure the talents can operate successfully in a global setting like in Hong Kong. Put together, both background checks and predictive assessments can definitely provide an holistic method to hire the right candidates in Hong Kong. 


This article is written by Kannan Chettiar, Managing Director of Avvanz. Avvanz has 3 business pillars – Avvanz Hire (Recruitment Process Outsourcing and Comprehensive New Employee On-boarding), Avvanz Screen (including Predictive Assessments and Background Screening) and Avvanz Develop (Digital Training, Instructor-led Training, Blended Training and 1:1 and/or Group Coaching/Mentoring).

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