Azure, Data and Cloud in demand
Skill Shortage impacts Technology Growth in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore
New research conducted by global talent services company Morgan McKinley as part of its 2024 Salary Guide has revealed that 76 per cent of technology hiring managers found recruitment ‘very’ or ‘quite’ competitive in 2023 across Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.
The Guide identified key challenges for 2024, with 25 per cent of hiring managers citing shortage of skilled candidates as their primary obstacle. Other challenges included difficulties in competing on pay and benefits (22 per cent) and a lack of approval for new headcount (19 per cent).
Despite the challenging market, things are looking brighter in 2024 with half of technology hiring managers revealing that they would like to increase headcount in the first half of the year and 46 per cent of technology workers are looking for new roles in that same period, with a further 31 per cent considering a move.
When looking to move roles, technology workers value a higher salary (40 per cent) the most, followed by career growth and development opportunities (14 per cent), and ability to work fully remote (13 per cent).
Flexibility continues to be important in the technology industry, with work from home and flexible working hours placing first and third respectively in Tech professionals’ top five valued benefits – alongside bonus (second) and health insurance (fourth). Technology had the greatest proportion of people who placed ‘work from home’ as one of their most valued benefits out of all 10 specialisations surveyed (71 per cent of technology professionals picked it in their top five).
42 per cent of technology professionals would prefer to be in the office 1-2 days a week, whilst only 8 per cent want to be on-site 5 days a week. Over half (53 per cent) would skip a pay rise if it meant they got the flexibility they desire.
69 per cent of employers expect their salary offers to increase for certain hard-to-fill roles across technology, and a further 20 per cent plan to increase salary offers for all Tech teams.
Rob Sheffield, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Hong Kong & China, commented: “The high demand for technology professionals in Hong Kong remains consistent. The main difference in 2023 was the slower pace – processes took longer due to clients being selective and interviewing multiple candidates before committing to an offer. There is a distinct lack of junior-level technology professionals; it is likely that there will be turnover at this level of hiring for 2024.
“The demand for experienced contractors and outcome-based consulting has increased noticeably in Hong Kong. The need to support business-critical programmes and time-sensitive roles is driving this demand.”
In Singapore, Gurj Sandhu, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Singapore, commented: “Global layoffs by tech giants, rising inflation and general economic uncertainty all heaped pressure on the heavily invested-in Tech sector throughout 2023. But there is now definitely a silver lining; hiring activity picked up in Q3 and paints a positive picture for 2024. Many businesses have projects pipelined and a strong book of work and will need the right talent to successfully see them through 2024 and beyond.”
“It is likely that businesses are going to be more focused on salary corrections for their employees to hedge against inflation in an attempt to keep their existing headcount stable. This said, in-demand roles will always be able to attain higher salaries.”
“Skills shortages have been exacerbated by international talent leaving the region due to high living costs and rising inflation impacting property rentals. Employee engagement and togetherness is key. It’s important you understand your people – their career goals and aspirations – to keep them engaged.”