Survey shows HK remains favorite among expatriates

istock_000004799683mediumAccording to a recent survey, 100% of professionals who have moved from other countries to live and work in Hong Kong would recommend working abroad to others. 91% of them said it had improved their career prospects.

The research was commissioned by the global specialist recruitment company Hydrogen Group and conducted by ESCP Europe. It revealed that Hong Kong is an increasingly popular location for both multinationals and the professionals they employ.

“Hong Kong is a dynamic global business center,” says Abigail Waudby, Director: Asia at Hydrogen. “Strategically positioned as the gateway to Mainland China, the role of Hong Kong as a regional hub for Greater China is also becoming increasingly important and driving a range of opportunities for talented individuals from all parts of the world.”

In fact the survey showed that the flow of professionals around the world is growing with more and more companies requiring international experience and a global perspective from those they place in the top jobs.

Other key findings from the report include:

– International experience is more and more a prerequisite for senior professionals: 72% of respondents stating that their employers see international experience as important or very important; this is up from 63% in 2011

– Overseas work is no longer just for the young with 45% of respondents aged over 40

– While the three most popular places for respondents to live and work remain the US, the UK and Australia, their dominance is waning: the US fell from 18% last year to 12% this year, Australia fell from 11% to 9% and the UK from 10% to 9%

– 37% of respondents working abroad said that they had found their role through recruiters. Tim Smeaton, CEO of Hydrogen Group comments: “Candidates recognize that recruitment specialists provide them with access to the global organizations of their choice.”

Hong Kong has a lot to offer to these professionals seeking global experience. Salaries are comparable to other major financial and business centers and lower taxes give most people a 20-30% uplift in their take-home pay. Residents also enjoy a high standard of living, and, with the rest of South East Asia just a short flight away most expats take the opportunity to visit the rest of South East Asia.

The cumulative effect of these trends is that competition for roles within Hong Kong is becoming more intense. As Waudby concludes: “Employers no longer need to pay substantial relocation packages and salaries to attract people here. Candidates are aware of this and will position themselves competitively through demonstrating a visible commitment to a decent length of tenure and realistic expectations regarding remuneration.”