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Finding work in Hong Kong

There are numerous opportunities to find work in Hong Kong, particularly if you happen to be multilingual.

Specialists in banking, finance, the law and teaching find that there is a strong demand for their services. According to data published in 2015, 45% of expats work in the banking and finance sector - the advent of globalisation means that these skills are increasingly more transferable. Other areas where expats can find job opportunities are in marketing and the creative industries. The same data show that the highest number of expats working in Hong Kong come from Indonesia at 26.3%, with the Philippines coming second at 18.3%. 2.7% come from the UK and 4.3% originate from France.

Finding the right work

The easiest way to find jobs in Hong Kong is to scour the internet. The international agency Proco Global is a good place to start if you’re looking for an executive or managerial post. Other excellent sources of information are the expat blogs and websites, such as Living in Hong Kong, that can give you up-to-date information and very useful advice. You can also improve your chances of finding employment if you:

  • Create a Hong Kong-style CV. As well as listing your skills, you will be expected to add your desired salary in your covering letter. Be realistic about your skills and read up beforehand about which are needed in Hong Kong. State all of this very clearly on your CV.
  • LinkedIn is also an excellent for job searching, seeing what’s available and messaging prospective employers. Go to the jobs section and type ‘Hong Kong’ into the location browser — a wide range of jobs will appear. Contact the advertiser and discover whether you have the skills they are seeking. This shows initiative and could well place you at the top of the list for the advertised position.
  • Brush up on your language skills. English is widely spoken, as are Cantonese and Mandarin. If you’re multilingual, you’ll improve your chances of employment with a local firm as well as with a large multinational corporation.
  • If you’re already living in Hong Kong, try the website JobsDB, which updates its job listings daily. The site is currently posting 146,000 positions, the majority of them in accounting, banking, IT, and sales. All levels are catered for, so no need to worry if you’re not at executive level yet.
  • Most of the world’s major recruitment agencies have branches in the region. If you’re looking for work within a specific field, simply research the relevant job agency to discover if they have a branch in Hong Kong.
  • If you’re working for a company in your home country and you know that your firm has a branch in Hong Kong, discuss relocation with your human resources department.

Try to concentrate on whether your skills are needed rather than the generous financial remuneration. This will help you to understand the opportunities available for you in Hong Kong.

Increasingly, the administration is asking employers to prove that the skills that expats can provide are essential, and that vacancies can’t be filled by the local population. Our article on entry requirements will provide you with advice on finding the right visa before you relocate.1

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