Huge Job Fair in Hong Kong: 4,700 Openings Available Amid Labor Crunch
Since the complete lifting of cross-border travel restrictions last month, the biggest job fair in Hong Kong has attracted numerous optimistic job seekers. There are currently over 4,700 employment opportunities available due to labor shortages in the city.
Leon Lau, who is 27 years old, attended the two-day expo in Mong Kok on Wednesday with hopes of finding a stable job. He was laid off from his position as a security guard during the Covid-19 pandemic and has been working irregular jobs since then. He expressed his desire to try something new rather than being confined to the security guard profession for the rest of his life, although he would accept a job as a security guard if offered one.
Lau expressed his intention to apply for a job as either a salesman or a chef, and he anticipated that it would be less challenging to secure employment in the city as it has been returning to its pre-pandemic state since February.
The post-pandemic recovery of the city is facing difficulties due to a scarcity of labor, particularly in the aviation, tourism, food and beverage, and retail sectors.
Choi, a truck driver working at a warehouse, has been searching for better-paying jobs with more benefits. However, due to the pandemic, very few opportunities were available.
Choi remarked that if there is no demand, it is impossible to change jobs, regardless of the desire to do so. But now that the city is reopening and there is an increase in demand, there are more opportunities.
Over 60 organizations are participating in the two-day Exploring New Opportunities Job Fair, which is organized by the Labor Department. There are over 4,700 vacancies across various industries, including retail, food and beverage, hotels, and property management.
More than 2,400 job openings are available in the food and beverage, retail, and hotel sectors.
Mei Lau, an officer responsible for human resources and administration at Ichiran Hong Kong, stated that due to the lifting of pandemic restrictions and the full reopening of the mainland China border, the restaurant chain needed to hire additional employees as customers had started to return. To retain current employees and entice potential applicants, the company raised its base salary in February and provided bonuses for attendance.
Lau stated that they had observed a surge in job applications after the company had increased its base salary, which gave them confidence in their ability to hire the required number of staff. However, the food and beverage industry was struggling to attract workers, and therefore, Ichiran Hong Kong needed to consider alternative methods of retaining staff, aside from salary increments.
As of 1:30 pm, the company had recruited one full-time worker and interviewed five candidates, with the goal of hiring up to 20 employees on Wednesday. Swire Properties Management faced a shortage of between 5% and 10% in its workforce as its staff had returned to their previous jobs in the travel or aviation sectors. The company did not have a fixed target for recruitment but had received two to three applications for building attendant and security guard positions.
To attract potential applicants, Swire Properties Management provided referral and attendance bonuses and other employee benefits.
Hong Kong’s unemployment rate for November 2022 to January 2023 period was 3.4%, which was equivalent to the pre-pandemic rate recorded between November 2019 and January 2020.