Hong Kong Opens Door to Worldwide Talent

Mr. Takayama states, "I was impressed by the language competence of Hong Kong-born talent."

The location of Hong Kong gives the city a key advantage in attracting talent from all over the world, says Norihisa Takayama, General Manager, RGF HR Agent Hong Kong Limited. The company is the global component of the RECRUIT group, which is the largest recruiting company in Japan, aiming to be the world's number one HR solution provider based on the "Dual Channel Approach" for client companies as well as job seekers. It has had a presence in Hong Kong since 2009.

Mr. Takayama states, "When I first came to Hong Kong, I was impressed by the language competence of Hong Kong-born talent. Most of them can speak fluent English, Mandarin and also Cantonese, whereas some of them even manage a third or fourth language such as French or Spanish." He believes that this is one of the comparative advantages for local talent, seeing that, "in many countries, people might only know how to speak in their native language."

He continues, "Like Singapore, Hong Kong is close to South East Asia, but its pivotal role as the springboard to the Mainland, which is now more pronounced than ever, gives it an added advantage in attracting international talent." Moreover, he believes that conditions such as freedom of speech and press, as well as the diversity of lifestyle and cultures that makes up the cosmopolitan environment of the city, encourage this inflow of talented individuals.

Parallel to these conditions, domestic talent have also had to compete with their international cohorts. In this regard, Mr. Takayama points out that "even though the overall English competence of young local talent is still good, it has been dropping in general. Many local graduates have found themselves facing formidable challenges from mainland graduates and international professionals who are better equipped with the required and necessary skills. Particularly in the finance sectors, most of the key executive positions are taken up by ABC (American-born Chinese) and BBC (British-born Chinese) who can speak fluent English with ease."

Higher mobility an added advantage

Mr. Takayama adds that, "local graduates should be more aggressive and ready to relocate overseas. Young job seekers who are not willing to leave home for their jobs may lose the chance to learn and excel. They should keep learning and experiencing more in order to win over their foreign counterparts."

He concludes, "As far as I can remember, the older generation of Hong Kong was very hard working, but young people these days seem not to work as hard as the older generation. This is partly due to the relative low salary compared to the city's high living cost. However, young local graduates should focus on their profession, and more importantly, they need to brush up their language and professional skills in order to be competitive or they risk losing the top jobs to mainland and expatriate professionals."

Seeing as how the mega infrastructure projects being rolled out in multiple phases have been boosting the construction sector of Hong Kong in the past few years, Mr. Takayama believes the construction sector will continue to remain one of the key areas of financial growth. He states, "The major infrastructure constructions such as the Hong Kong-ZhuHai-Macao Bridge and the High-Speed Railway between Hong Kong and Shanghai show that the construction sector is booming." He also believes that the banking and finance industry will continue to hire more individuals and add to the economic growth of Hong Kong.

August 06, 2015

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