HK’s Workers Rank Compensation as Most Important in Career

Most Hong Kongers Rank Compensation as Most Important in Career Choice; Remote Work Options a Low Priority – Report

There are many aspects that drive one's career choices. While no job is perfect, obviously, we do have a say on what facets we want fulfilled before formally accepting an offer of employment. Is it all just about money? While money's certainly important, there are other areas to consider. These include, among others, the nature of the job, the career development opportunities and other non-financial benefits that will be available to you once you start, the environment you'll be working in and its culture, and whether the work itself is meaningful and purposeful.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have given way to a workers' exodus that saw millions transition to remote work, but it has also brought on a wave of people leaving their jobs to look for more meaningful work in what is now termed “The Great Resignation.” But while this was what may have been observed globally, human resources solutions agency Randstad Hong Kong believes that the special administrative region's workforce appears to go against this trend.

Compensation and Benefits Win Out

Hong Kongers compensation and benefits career choice

What drives Hong Kongers' career choices? The agency sought to answer this very question with a survey. Published on Feb. 28, Randstad's Workmonitor 2021 2H Report revealed that majority or 73% of Hong Kongers ranked compensation and benefits as the most important consideration affecting their career choices.

Randstad's report revealed Hong Kongers' five most important considerations that drive their work and career choices. They are as follows: compensation and benefits (73%); job flexibility to accommodate one's commitments outside of work (41% — a 32-point gap between the first two considerations); job with a manageable stress level (40%); career growth opportunities (34%); and working in a safe environment (33%).

"Having good compensation and benefits is valued higher than a meaningful and caring work environment," said Randstad. "Non-financial employee benefits such as working for a respected and caring employer or a friendly environment are rarely considered by Hong Kongers when it comes to making a career decision."

A Catch-22?

Hong Kongers career choice

Although the pandemic has proven that hybrid work can be done, Randstad said it is a low priority for Hong Kongers due to the region's "prevalent presenteeism and OT work culture," which cause employees and employers to "subscribe to the notion that being present in the office is crucial, and workers fear losing out on promotions and salary increments if they do not conform."

This, thus, leaves them in a "catch-22 situation," according to Randstad, wherein they yearn for more autonomy professionally, but find themselves "constrained by social expectations."

And while more than 8 in 10 respondents reported that the health crisis has made them want more flexibility in their job and career, remote work options are a low priority for them when it comes to considering their career choices.

"[This is] due to the housing situation in Hong Kong SAR," said Randstad. "The space constraints at home are not conducive enough for Hong Kongers to perform their jobs, pushing most to return to the office."

According to the report, the three least important considerations for the work and career choices of Hong Kongers are remote work options (15%); a workplace in which they can connect with people (13%); and working for a fast-growing and/or innovative company (12%).

Subscribe to The Beat's newsletter to receive compelling, curated content straight to your inbox! You can also create an account with us for free to start bookmarking articles for later reading.