Young employees in Hong Kong restless

A survey has found what many HR professionals know already, that talented young workers are open to job-hopping

Young employees in Hong Kong restless
A s
urvey has found what many HR professionals know already, that talented young millenials in Hong Kong are open to job-hopping

People who are younger than 35 are more likely to leave their current jobs than their older colleagues.

The survey, conducted by international youth-run network Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales, was taken by 1,000 Hong Kong residents last month.

It showed that just 19% of young workers expected to stay with their current employer.

Meanwhile, 33% of their older colleagues are likely to stay where they are.

Lau Ming-wai, chairman of the city’s commission on youth, told the South China Morning Post that the survey should prompt reflection among employers in the old mindsets.

“An alarming question: are they getting the best talent they want?” Lau asked.

Nearly half of the respondents were born between 1983 and 2000, while the rest were aged 35 to 54.

Twenty-seven percent of the younger workers admitted to actively looking for a new job, while just 13% among the older group were. 

The younger set has higher expectations from employers to improve their skills, protect the environment and generate more jobs.

But both age brackets however preferred an “affiliative” leadership style, promoting harmony and connecting colleagues by encouraging inclusion. They both like bosses who issue top-to-bottom orders, threaten disciplinary action and maintain a tight control over teams.

Lau said people should stop saying that young people’s “jumpiness” in the labour market is a negative trait.

“The jumpiness does not necessarily reflect something wrong with the generation. From jobs to relationships, millennials have more options. The more options you have, the more you want to try [different options],” Lau said.

Gary Wong Chi-him, founder of Inspiring HK Sports Foundation, said employers should build faster promotion tracks to bring more young people to the executive level. He also advised young people to plan for their long-term career track instead of changing jobs rashly.

Related stories:
What makes Singapore’s millennials different?
Five ways to engage Gen Z workers

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