Hiring Intentions Figures in Q1 2012 Remain Stable

(Tuesday, March 20, 2012)

Hiring Intentions Figures in Q1 2012 Remain Stable

Most employers continue hiring but prefer to be cautious

 

 

[20 March 2012 – Hong Kong]  Despite continuous concerns about the potential risks brought by the global economic uncertainties, the labour market in Hong Kong remained stable. Employers at large expressed the intention to continue hiring. The latest labour market situation was reflected by the findings in the Quarterly Survey on Manpower Statistics – Fourth Quarter 2011 and Year 2011 conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM).

 

Conducted since 2002 to collect data on a quarterly basis, the HKIHRM Quarterly Survey on Manpower Statistics regularly tracks manpower movement in Hong Kong’s labour market. A total of 82 companies participated in the Q4 2011 (October to December) survey conducted in January and February 2012, covering 98,503 employees. Key data obtained from the survey include hiring intentions, staff turnover, job vacancy, position growth/cut and staff absence rate.

 

Mr Francis Mok, President of the HKIHRM, said, “All in all, the economy of Hong Kong was flourishing in the year 2011. This led to a severe war for talents which posed a great challenge to both employers and HR professionals. The active labour market of last year was fully reflected in the Institute’s survey results which showed that the overall yearly average staff turnover rate and job vacancy rate stood at 14.5% and 4.6% respectively, relatively high when compared with figures in the last five years.”

 

Key findings of the survey are as follows:

 

Staff Turnover

 

Q4 2011

 

  1.  
  • The overall turnover rate for Q4 2011 was 2.4% (weighted average),
  • The highest turnover rate was recorded in the retail sector (13.5%), followed by other business activities (7.1%) and community/social/personal services(6.3%) [Chart 2].
  • In terms of employee level, the highest turnover rate was among theclerical/frontline level (3.1%, a continuous trend since Q2 2007) [Chart 3].

 

2011 (Full Year)

 

  • The overall yearly average turnover rate was 14.5% (weighted average), 18.9% higher than the figure in 2010 (12.2%). [Chart 4].
  • The highest yearly turnover rate was recorded in the retail industry (34.1%), followed by other business activities (29.8%) and community/social/personal services (26.1%) [Chart 5].

 

 

Job Vacancy

 

 

Q4 2011

  • The overall job vacancy rate for Q4 2011 was 3.2% (weighted average), 31.9% lower than that in Q3 2011 (4.7%) and 13.5% lower than Q4 2010 (3.7%) [Chart 1].
  • The highest vacancy rate was recorded in the retail sector (10.8%), followed by community/social/personal services (8.9%) and construction/property development/real estate (5.1%) [Chart 2].
  • In terms of employee level, the highest vacancy rate was found in middle management/non-managerial professionals (3.9%) [Chart 3].

 

2011 (Full Year)

 

  • The overall yearly average vacancy rate was 4.6% (weighted average), 27.8% higher than that in 2010 (3.6%) [Chart 4].
  • The highest yearly vacancy rate was recorded in the retail industry (8.0%), followed by community/social/personal services (7.2%) and engineering (6.6%) [Chart 5].

 

Position Growth/Cut

 

  1.  
  • The net growth in new positions during Q4 2011 was 0.6% (weighted average), 57.1% lower than Q3 2011 (1.4%) and 14.3% lower than Q4 2010 (0.7%) [Chart 6]. In 2011, an overall increase in position growth of 4% was recorded, slightly higher than 2010 (3.7%).
  • In Q4 2011, the highest net growth in job positions was recorded in the community/social/personal services sector (1.9%), followed by construction/property development/real estate and telecommunication (both at 1.8%) [Chart 7].
  • In terms of employee level, the highest net growth was recorded in middle management/non-managerial professionals (0.8%) [Chart 8].

 

 

Absence Rate

 

 

Among the 82 participating companies, 53 companies provided data on staff absence. In the survey, “absence” is defined as unscheduled absences of one or more than one day including sick leave (paid or no paid), emergency leave and casual leave.

 

  • The absence rate in Q4 2011 was 1.9% (weighted average), 5.0% lower than Q3 2011 (2.0%) [Chart 9].
  • The community/social/personal services sector recorded the highest absence rate (2.8%), followed by other business activities (2.1%) and transport/services allied to transport (storage) (2.0%) [Chart 10].
  • In terms of employee level, the clerical/frontline level recorded the highest absence rate at 2.1% (a continuous trend since Q3 2009). [Chart 11]. 

 

Hiring Intentions in Q1 2012

 

80 companies provided data on their hiring intentions in Q1 2012.

 

  • 55.0% of the companies intended to remain hiring as of Q4 2011 (4.8% lower than that for Q4 2011 (57.8%))
  • 21.3% of the companies intended to increase hiring (15.8% lower than that for Q4 2011 (25.3%)).
  • 20.0% intended to freeze hiring (50.4% higher than that for Q4 2011 (13.3%)).
  • 3.8% intended to reduce hiring (5.6% higher than that for Q4 2011 (3.6%)).
  • The highest intention to increase hiring was seen in other business activities sector (60.0%), followed by financial services/banking/insurance (41.7%) and construction/property development/real estate (33.3%) [Chart 12].

 

In 2011, the percentage of companies which intended to increase hiring dropped from 31.9% in Q1 2011 to 21.3% in Q4 2011. On the contrary, the percentage of companies which intended to freeze hiring rose from 8.8% in Q1 2011 to 20% in Q4 2011.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

“Hiring intention is always an important factor in considering the labour market trend. The hiring intentions figures in Q1 2012 indicated that many employers would continue or increase hiring. Yet, the survey results also indicated that employers were becoming more cautious about their recruitment plan. Some of them would rather adopt a wait-and-see approach to avoid making inappropriate decision at a time when the ongoing debt crisis in the Eurozone, along with other lingering economic uncertainties, has deflated confidence in business growth around the world,” concluded Mr Mok.

  

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About HKIHRM

As the most representative professional human resource institute in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), a non-profit making organisation, has more than 4,800 members, with 560 of whom being corporate members. Founded in February 1977, the Institute aims at developing, maintaining and enhancing professional standards in HR management, and increasing the perceived value and influence of the HR profession. The Institute organises a wide range of professional activities such as multi-level training programmes and conferences, and provides services such as conducting surveys and publishing a professional journal. The HKIHRM is a member of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management which is one of the continental federations under the World Federation of People Management Associations. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.hkihrm.org.

 

 

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