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Tackling Talent Shortage in Hong Kong

The accelerating outflows of skilled professionals has become one of the major existential threats to Hong Kong which thrives on the talent of its people. Professionals skilled in Property & Engineering, Finance and IT were reported as the largest brain drain with each accounting for more than 20% of an organization’s loss while talent shortage is happening across industries.

Larger organizations were reported as being the most affected by the outward flow of talent and expected their turnover rate to increase in the coming months. To minimize the impact to operations, we advise our clients to strengthen their succession planning and recruitment efforts, increasing their reliance on automation and pay & benefits and pivoting by shifting overall business strategies with digitalization. We list some of our suggestions in tackling talent shortages below, with both short term and long term strategies which must be taken by organizations NOW to educate, train, upskill and retain their existing workforces.


Organizations must gain operational efficiencies by implementation of digital transformation and also provide the right training to employees to use these innovative softwares. The problem larger organizations face is that their businesses aren’t set up to properly train their existing team and/or new hires with up-to-date skills in sync with the implemented softwares. Yet organizations are facing a lack of technical talent to build the needed softwares or provide training to end users. One of the best solutions to the lack of digital talent is to make use of no-code/low-code solutions and platforms. These solutions are often built around the sector functionality’ needs, most of them have custom tailor-made enterprise applications available. No-code/low-code solutions help close the digital talent’s gap, delivering new features and functionality to the business much faster with fewer technical hires.

Investing in people, listening to employee feedback, and following through. Build trust through transparency.

One of ways to power through digital transformation journeys would be investing in employee training and fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration. Investment in training and networking opportunities for employees should be prioritized when the round table planning their resources allocation. Organizations should foster a culture of learning, collaboration and transparency to ensure employees feel comfortable sharing what’s working and what could be improved. Line managers could promote this by initiating regular one-on-ones with team members to ensure their needs are being met, get feedback on current processes and better understand their workloads to avoid burnout.

Well-being matters

Under the new normal, the lines between work and home are increasingly blurring and people are becoming more focused on wellbeing. The working environment and culture, therefore, have become critical factors that influence employees’ stay-or-go decisions and whether they would join the new firm. Workplace culture monitorization, mental health resources, therapy sessions, and other well-being benefits really give you the edge in supporting employees' daily life, concerns and financial situation, particularly with the rising cost of living.

Provide mentorship program, groom personal growth & societal purpose

A good way of tackling talent shortages is to focus on providing employees with opportunities for further training or the chance to rotate and take on new responsibilities. Most employees relish development opportunities so this can have the added effect of increasing loyalty amongst your staff. Mentorships allow younger employees to learn new skills and senior employees to become more confident at what they already know - a great way to improve retention. Mentorships not only increase employee engagement, it encourages workplace learning and promotes internal mobility. If in doubt, there are a wide variety of mentoring models that organizations can use right away which outline different mentorship programs such as in groups, peer-to-peer, reverse mentoring, etc.

Shift of recruitment strategies

Holding out for best-match candidates means that vacancies remain open for weeks or even months resulting in overworking the existing team to provide necessary cover and possibly damaging morale and increasing staff attrition rates. Adjusting the hiring criteria and hiring less qualified candidates can often deliver a wealth of benefits, boosting the diversity of the workforce and introducing fresh perspectives to problem solving. Another means of dealing with talent shortages which is often overlooked, is to transfer employees from overseas.

Talent Shortage? We need to retain our team and act fast.

It is especially important that senior executives, leaders, and policy makers do not lose sight of the prize: greater agility, productivity, and empowerment of the workforce. Our goal is to keep productive and talented workers and reduce turnover by fostering a positive work atmosphere to promote engagement, showing appreciation to employees, providing competitive pay and benefits, and encouraging a healthy work-life balance.

If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to reach out to any of us here at DNA Recruit Partners. Our team is happy to assist you with market insights and career consultation.

Book for a free consultation today!


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