The Current State of Hong Kong’s Job Market – The Job Board Perspective

January 27, 2023

Why Analyse the Job Board?

At Find Recruiter, we crawl popular job boards in Hong Kong monthly. Job boards are still the most popular go-to tool for most employers. It’s crucial for the discovery of new trends and a better understanding of the latest market demands. Internally, it’s one of many data sources that Find Recruiterconsumes to provide actionable intelligence to both recruiters and hiring managers.

A couple of questions that we get asked often:

  • What is the best and fair commission rate I should set for the job opening that I am hiring?
  • What is a competitive salary for the role that I am hiring?

We’re living in a strange time

In Jul 2020, Hong Kong saw the beginning of the third COVID-19 wave. Hong Kong was hit hard by COVID-19 in the first half of 2020. Many people in Hong Kong faced job losses. Many companies either went into a hiring freeze or shed its workforce in anticipation of a long winter.

So it makes us wonder, amid COVID-19 3rd wave:

How is the Hong Kong Job Market doing?

In this article, we attempt to draw some insights based on the most recent data we gathered from JobsDB in Jul 2020.

Hong Kong Job Market at-a-glance

Try clicking into the squares to drill down by each function.

Insight 1: Persistent Demand for IT Skills

Top 3 Job Functions in demand are

  1. IT
  2. Sales, CS, Business Development
  3. Banking / Finance

No surprises; COVID-19 has indirectly created a demand for IT as it accelerated digital transformation for many companies. As face-to-face meetings have become difficult, companies are now more reliant on IT than ever.

Insight 2: More the competition for a skillset = more reliance on recruitment agencies


At the high-level, a trend is glaring: The higher in demand for a skill set, the heavier reliance on recruitment agencies for a dedicated search. There are two exceptions to this trend: “Sales, CS & Business Development” & “Building & Construction” functions.

In recent years, we saw many HR Tech solutions promising to disrupt the recruitment market with AI. Yet IT still tops the chart; 39% of the IT jobs posted by agencies. It indicates a market sentiment:

AI is not solving the recruitment problem, yet.

Insight 3: Job Boards are an advertising solution, not a hiring solution.

Job boards like LinkedIn, JobsDB, CP Jobs are NOT a hiring solution. You will likely get more out of it if you use it as an “advertising solution”, and your goal is to maximise the exposure of your job opening to the job seekers. Not sure what this means practically? Here are some tips:

TAG YOUR JOB IN AS MANY FUNCTION GROUP AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

To maximise the exposure of your job opening, you shall tag your job opening by the Function Group (i.e., “IT” / “Accounting/Finance”). It massively limits the exposure of your job opening if you tagged it under a specific Job Function such as “IT > Software Development”. This may sound counter-intuitive to some but it’s a technique employed by many agencies. Most agencies share the same technique to tag a job opening by as many Function Groups as possible so it shows up everywhere.

RE-POST YOUR JOB OPENINGS OFTEN.

It’s important to note that our analysis was done based on unique job openings because a job opening is usually re-posted multiple times. A common practice by the recruitment agencies: to flood the job board to ensure their job openings are always at the top of the list. Did you post a job last week? Consider it gone. More than likely, it is already buried somewhere at the bottom of the list. Remember, re-post your job often to maximise the exposure of your job openings to potential candidates.

KNOW THE AUDIENCE OF THE JOB BOARD YOU ARE USING.

Different job boards own and appeal to different demographics. Some basic examples:

  • You are open to international candidates? LinkedIn has a very international audience in general.
  • You are not sure where to post your job? Try popular local job boards such as CP Jobs, or JobsDB.
  • You’d like to attract Software Developer only? Stack Overflow and Github Jobsare good options to consider.

Keep in mind: just like advertising, if it’s not free, posting on a job board that attracts a specific demographic of professionals is better than posting on a generic job board that targets everyone. You are likely able to get better results for the money you spent.

Insight 4: More than 20% of jobs are now cross-functional.

An exciting trend to watch for: More than 20% of jobs on JobsDB are cross-functional. It is especially evident in IT. Many companies are now looking for candidates who possess both industry-specific expertise and IT skills.

Insight 5: More than 80% of Jobs have no salary expectations.

It’s unclear to us as to why most of the jobs on JobsDB are without a salary expectation. The lack of transparency on salary expectations can be an alarming bell for Hong Kong. Many have suffered job losses in the first half of 2020. The recovery of Hong Kong’s economy post-COVID 19 is going to be impacted by how fast we can put these people back to work. There are more than enough frictions in the job market matching candidates to job openings. Salary being one of the primary factors in job matching, companies must become more transparent on their salary expectations.

Data is the Foundation for Actionable Intelligence

Traditionally, answers to these questions take months to digest and is often prepared by market leaders every 3/6 months. The insights drawn in these reports tend to be already out-of-date by the time they are released. Traditionally, it’s difficult for employers to make actionable plans based on these reports. At Find Recruiter, we aim to provide intelligence based on the “most current” data so that the provided insights are relevant and are impactful to the actual hiring plans.

Data Intelligence is actionable when it’s relevant and timely.

Final Word: A Better Recruitment Community for all

We share our findings in the spirit to create a more transparent recruitment community. Miscommunication, ghosting, and the lack of transparency have long plagued the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers. We at Find Recruiter are working to change that, one job at a time.

This article is the second in our #Data Analysis series.


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PUBLISHED BY
Ted Kuo

The tech guy behind Find Recruiter. Let's build a thriving recruitment community together.

Further Reading

Top Recruiters in Hong Kong and Asia 2022

As Asia’s largest community of recruiters, we pride ourselves in bringing the top recruiters across different disciplines for employers hiring in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the rest of Asia.
Howard Sung
January 9, 2023

My Very First Post!

Of course, this is going to be about entrepreneurship — why not?I’ve co-founded 2 companies (Surge & FindRecruiter) within the past 18 months, it seems only suiting to have my first post about a topic that is so close to my life.
Howard Sung
August 29, 2019