Hong Kong job seekers are influenced by online comments.

The online impact.

A survey from Hays suggests job seekers in Hong Kong are more likely to be influenced by online comments about prospective employers than their peers across Asia. The latest Hays web poll carried out in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore asked candidates, “Do the online comments of former employees influence your decision to apply or work for an organisation?”

Overall, two in five (40 per cent) Hong Kong candidates note that their decision to apply or work for an organisation is ‘definitely’ swayed by reviews and opinions of former employees. This figure is second to Japan at 55 per cent and higher compared to the markets across the region; Mainland China (18 per cent), Malaysia (35 per cent) and Singapore (39 per cent). The global recruitment firm also notes that to a larger degree, many Hong Kong respondents (51 per cent) state that they ‘take online comments into consideration’ when deciding to apply or work for a firm.

Across the region, only few say they that are not at all influenced by reviews of perspective employers on the internet. While nine per cent of respondents in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore ignore online comments, seven per cent in Malaysia and five per cent in Japan say the same.

Commenting on this, Dean Stallard, managing director at Hays Greater Bay Area says: “As industries across the board become skills-starved, organisations could benefit from managing their online reputation from an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) point of view. In this digital age, it is a natural process for many hopeful candidates to look up what’s being said of working at an organisation which they are considering to be a part of. The Internet has made it fairly easy to gain access to comments of ex-staff, with many active employer review platforms and forums available online.

“Organisations that want to attract high quality candidates and mitigate the potential risk of losing adept talents should position themselves as the employer of choice – both online and offline,” he says. “While it is difficult to control what people post online, there are social media platforms available which employers can use to give outsiders a glimpse of what is it like to work at their company while showcasing its successes and values. And as far as existing online comments go, it is best to assess the feedback made by both current and ex-employees, then create an action plan for not only your PR image but also your working environment.”

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