2021 Q3 newsletter
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Recovery and advancement -- Find out about how the recruitment market in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand are recovering from the COVID-hit economic downfall in this edition of the Gemini newsletter, and find out about the Chinese Government is looking to end the “996” working culture in China. We have an important announcement from our HR consulting division, we are set to launch an AI-driven career pathing talent experience platform where employee reskilling and upskilling meets artificial intelligence. All in this edition of the Gemini newsletter! Please scroll down to read the content!

HONG KONG
- HR Digitisation in Asia -

CHINA
- Remodeling the working culture? -

SINGAPORE
- Light at the end of the tunnel -

THAILAND
- Thailand is back in business! -

SALARY GUIDES
Hong Kong - China - Singapore - Thailand
 
Hong Kong
Summing up Q3 Gemini Hong Kong

Unemployment: Hong Kong is gradually recovering from the post-Covid period, unemployment has steadily fallen from 7.2% in February 2021 to 4.5% in September., a new 14-months low. While this is still a relatively high comparing to under 3% unemployment rate back in 2019, the government is also optimistic that the labour market will further improve with the disbursement of the electronic consumption voucher from August 2021. Recent stats also shown that Hong Kong retail sales climbed for the seventh straight month and rose by 11.9% from a year earlier which also indicates that the retail market is recovering.

Hiring trends: IT remains the hottest industry, the industry is facing a growing talent shortage in data science/analytics, cloud and cybersecurity. The demand for IT talents is so huge that companies are starting to recruit overseas in countries like India and Philippines or simply turn to IT outsourcing service providers. Shipping & logistics follows closely after IT, while a lot of companies benefited from the Covid situation over the last 24 months, they are also facing the uncertainty of supply-chain challenges in countries with strict lock-down protocols, and insufficient labour supply. According to a HR survey, 65% of companies indicated the main reason for increased headcounts is company expansion and this is followed by growth in new roles (32%), which are strong indicators that the economy is in a expansion stage.

Emigration and its impact upon the labour market: Almost 90,000 Hong Kong citizens left the city over the last 12 months, according to the latest statistics. Hong Kong also experienced a significant drop of 1.2% in population, an alarming situation for the labour market. Industries like banking & investment, accounting, legal and compliance, media & marketing are facing the an exodus of mid-level to senior professionals emigrate from the city, and potentially creating a talent shortage in many organisations over the next few years. While a mass emigration may bring short term instability to organisations, some see this as an opportunity for high potential younger generation to be fast-tracked along the organisation ladder. Gemini also expects to see a growing demand in talent development and career pathing solutions over the next few years to counter the negative impact brought by this emigration,  maintaining an agile, engaged and competent workforce will be a vital task for HR professionals. For more info on HR digitisation, please continue to read the article below!



The digitalization of talent experience

A recent 2021 report from McKinsey & Company on the Future of Work indicates that upskilling and reskilling are the key to the future of workplace growth and staff retention rate. This is also echoed by L&D teams worldwide as a Top priority according to LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report.

In fact, this trend has been accelerating over the past 12 months with the pandemic affecting the way companies assess how they need to evolve to face a changing world of work.

Gemini has been receiving an increasing number of requests revolving around upskilling and reskilling from clients looking for talent management solutions to address the needs of both departing employees through career transition support and internal employees through internal mobility, skills forecasting and career pathing.

At the same time, it is no surprise that digitalization is paving the way of HR transformation in these areas as well. The latest report from the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management on training and development needs indicates that 95% of companies surveyed in HK have already invested in some form of online learning programmes and almost 60% have been increasing their spending in 2020 vs 2019. And the trend is set to continue.

Therefore, as a first in Asia, Gemini is leading the way and partnering with world-class providers to launch two new scalable and high impact online HR solutions platforms to address these needs and more:

Thrive: Thrive is the only career transition and development platform that enables employees and job seekers to select services through flex spending based on their career stage, objectives, and personal factors to advance their career development in or outside of the organization. This platform is built as a marketplace for outplacement, upskilling and reskilling.

Fuel50: Fuel 50 is an award-winning AI-driven career pathing talent experience platform that will smart-match employees to opportunities and career journeys within the organisation, using machine learning to identify skills forecasting. This solution is aimed at internal talent attraction, internal mobility, career pathing and talent retention.



Pandemic and the war for tech talent in Hong Kong

The demand for technology roles has bucked the doom and gloom that afflicted Hong Kong’s economy over the past two years. With the economy improving and companies from financials to logistics providers back hiring in droves, the war for talent has surged manifold that one is starting to see a talent shortage. The shortage has been exacerbated by reduced inflow of foreign talent as the pandemic and the resultant stringent border controls upended migration.  The pain is especially felt in emerging parts of IT such as data science/analytics, cloud and cyber security, where the city has only a finite pool of resources. We are also seeing companies opening up roles in areas such as block chain technology. In the first six months of the year, only 299 work visas for the IT sector were approved by the immigration department compared with 652 in all of 2020 and 1,655 a year earlier. Under the Technology Talent Admission Scheme of the immigration department, the numbers are starker. Just 32 applicants were approved in the first six months compared with 116 last year the data shows.

At the same time, Hong Kongers with skills in demand are being lured to other tech hubs, where immigration policies have been relaxed or quarantine rules easier. While 20,000 engineering graduates emerge from Hong Kong universities each year the skill sets are not a great match for the roles in demand. By any measure there are almost 10,000 technology jobs open across various levels, for sustainable growth of the sector,  Hong Kong needs to strike a balance between border closure and pandemic management.



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