Finance professionals in Hong Kong have itchy feet. Nearly 75% of them plan to jump ship, according to eFinancialCareers’ 2013 APAC Employment Survey. The reasons are less to do with pay, and more to do with feeling unappreciated.
Lack of career progression at their current employer and the perception of higher compensation elsewhere were the top factors for those seeking a new employer, followed by frustration with a lack of recognition for accomplishments, according to eFinancialCareers, a leading international financial career site.
The survey was conducted in April 2013. It polled 512 employed bankers and finance professionals in Hong Kong, 572 in Australia, and 1,262 in Singapore.
Hong Kong workers are the most disgruntled in the region. Almost three-quarters (74%) of them intend to move to a new firm this year, while only 64% in Singapore and 46% in Australia want to ditch their present bosses.
When seeking a new position, 36% of surveyed finance professionals in Hong Kong said they were looking for a minimum compensation increase in the range of 10% to 19% to accept an offer, while 32% were looking for 20% to 29%, well above inflation and the minimum wage.
The slowdown in hiring activity in recent years has frustrated Hong Kong financiers’ ambitions. They need an active market in talent.
“There has been less opportunity to take advantage of internal openings created by staff turnover, and the large scale layoffs experienced at the end of last year are also likely to have stalled the potential for some individuals to progress within their organisations,” said George McFerran, managing director for Asia-Pacific at eFinancialCareers.
“While many companies are mindful of the risk associated with losing top talent, outward pressures can’t always be overcome. In this situation we tend to see more candidates looking externally for a chance to advance their careers despite the challenging hiring environment,” he added.
When deciding on a new employer, the eFinancialCareers survey showed that promotion and a supportive culture, and a good working environment, were the most tempting factors for finance professionals.
A defined career progression and non-monetary benefits also helped. Healthcare was the most important “soft” attraction, followed by flexible working hours. A better work-life balance, as well as approval from the boss and, of course, plenty of cash are, perhaps unsurprisingly, on most bankers’ wish-lists. In fact, they are probably on most people’s wish-list.
A minimum salary increase of 10% to 29% from their current employer would stop over half (55%) from leaving their jobs, according to the survey. Excluding compensation, perceived better working conditions, recognition for accomplishments and opportunity for career progression were the main motivators for staying with their current employers.