As the employment landscape in Hong Kong recovers, the staff turnover for 2021 is higher than the previous year.
The vacancy rate records a rise, mirroring employers’ increased willingness to hire.
Conducted between July and August 2021, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management’s Manpower Statistics Survey for the first half of 2021 collected and analysed information from 40 companies across the sectors, representing a total of 33,610 employees.
The survey included turnover rates that were voluntary resignations, and excluded those caused by voluntary or involuntary redundancy, dismissal, or retirement. The absence rates captured in the survey were unscheduled absences of at least one day including sick leave, emergency leave, and casual leave.
Turnover rates and vacancy rates
According to the survey, the first half of 2021 documented a staff turnover rate of 4.8%, a moderate 1.4 percentage points higher than the corresponding figure in 2020. The vacancy rate in the first half of 2021 was 5.9%, a 2.1 percentage points increase from the corresponding figure last year.
By company size, organisations with 500 to 999 employees had the highest turnover rate for the first half of 2021 at 9.9%. The turnover rates for companies with less than 100 employees, 100 to 499 employees, and 1,000 employees or above were 9.3%, 8.3%, and 4.0% respectively.
On the other hand, among most of the responding companies, organisations with 1,000 employees or above had the highest vacancy rate for the first half of 2021 at 6.6%. The vacancy rates for companies with 500 to 999 employees, 100 to 499 employees, and less than 100 employees were 4.8%, 4.8%, and 2.5% respectively.
New positions and positions cut
For the first half of 2021, the overall net growth of new positions was 1.7%. Among most of the responding organisations, by company size, the net growth rate was the highest for organisations with 100 to 499 employees at 2.1%. The net growth rates for companies with more than 1,000 employees, 500 to 999 employees, and less than 100 employees were 1.9%, 1.2%, and -0.9% respectively.
The absence rate in the first half of 2021 is 2.1%, a mere 0.1 percentage point increment from the corresponding figure in the previous year. Among most of the responding organisations, in terms of company size, organisations with less than 100 employees had the highest absence rate at 2.3%, closely followed by organisations with more than 1,000 employees at 2.2%. The absence rates for companies with 100 to 499 employees and 500 to 999 employees were 1.7% and 0.8% respectively.
When it came to hiring intentions for the latter 6 months of 2021, half of the responding companies expected hiring to remain at the same level as the previous 6 months. A quarter of the responding organisations stated that they intended to freeze headcount.
Among the responding organisations,
22.5% said they would increase
hiring, a sharp increase from the
corresponding figure of 4.8% in the
first half of 2021. Only 2.5% of the
responding companies reported
reduction in hiring was in the pipeline,
in stark contrast to the corresponding
figure of 31% recorded in the first 6
months of 2021. As COVID-19 had
been brought under control in Hong
Kong, these figures collectively
pointed towards a renewed optimism
towards economic recovery. However,
since the pandemic is still around, the
fear of losing one’s livelihood remains
common for employees. Reduction
in hiring, especially when manpower
is tight, shouldn’t be exercised
unless necessary to avoid physical
and mental burnout, so that both the
workforces and the profit margin can
grow healthily in the next normal.