Hong Kong IT vacancies up 22.6 percent in Q1

Hong Kong IT vacancies up 22.6 percent in Q1

The number of IT vacancies in Hong Kong has seen a 22.6 percent hike from 4,966 in January to 6,090 in March, said recruitment agency Robert Walters Wednesday.

The tech posts that Robert Walters tracks include IT supervisor, manager, programmer, and database administration. The recruitment agency said it tracks advertisements by number in the executive appointments sections of major newspapers and jobs listing web sites in Asia.

Growth of Hong Kong's IT vacancies is higher than Singapore which sees a 1.3 percent increase from 5,187 to 5.254 and Japan that sees a 31.6 percent drop from 5,660 to 3,870 in the same period, according to the Robert Walters Asia Job Index.

China has experienced the highest growth of tech job posts among the four countries, with the number of vacancies surging 49.6 percent from 151,360 to 226,452 in Q1 of 2009.

In Hong Kong, the overall number of job advertisements grew 42.6 percent from 70,530 in January to 100,593 in March, according to figures from the agency. However, It's too soon to suggest that the downward trend of the previous quarter has been permanently reversed, said Robert Walters, adding that the number of jobs advertised is still significantly lower than in the corresponding months in the previous year.

In Hong Kong, the softness of job advertising was most marked in January, traditionally one of the quietest months of the year because of the combined effects of Christmas and Chinese New Year, said Robert Walters. This year, however, the effect was amplified by delays in the finalization of 2009 headcount budgets, which in most organizations has historically been completed by the end of November.

From January's low base, advertising activity increased sharply in February and continued to grow in March as organizations that had previously implemented redundancy programs began to experience demand for capacity in other areas of their business particularly at mid to senior levels, the agency added

"After a slow start to the year, some organizations are now starting to focus once again on profitability and growth, instead of cost cutting," said Matthew Bennett, director at Robert Walters Hong Kong. "The redundancies that we have seen have not only created a merry-go-round of roles internally but have also led to an increased availability of talent on competitive terms. This means that anyone looking to hire at the moment is in a strong position."

Hong Kong job seekers plan job changes

Despite the economic uncertainty, there are still more than 50 percent of job seekers in Hong Kong plan to change jobs, said online recruitment Web site JobsDB Thursday.

JobsDB conducted an online salary survey from February to March 2009 on job seekers, gathering information on their job-hunting intentions and salary changes in 2008. Job seeker members were invited through e-mail to fill in the questionnaire, and more than 6,500 responses were received, said JobsDB.

According to the firm, about 65 percent of respondents planned to change jobs before the financial crisis, compared with 54 percent after the crisis.

Prospect the major reason of quiting

The number one reason of wanting to change one's job is 'slim advancement prospect', at 26 percent, said JobsDB, adding that salaries and benefits were the top reason in the past but only 25.45 percent of respondents in the latest survey indicated that as the major reason.

Salary adjustment

The survey results also show that more than a quarter (28 percent) of the respondents got a pay rise after the financial crisis. The overall pay rise is 2.1 percent. Whereas 55 percent of the respondents have their salaries remain unchanged and 17 percent of the respondents got a pay cut, said JobsDB.

In terms of job sectors, more than 35 percent of the respondents in Engineering and IT got a pay rise, followed by HR & Admin (33.33 percent). On the other hand, only 18.66 percent and 18.41 percent of job seekers respectively in Banking/Finance and Sales got a pay rise, the lowest percentages recorded among all job sectors, the firm added.

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