3 Reasons to Hire International Employees in Hong Kong
Category: Global Talent, Hiring Internationals
Tags: diverse workplace, diversity, global talent, hiring international
With a sophisticated business environment and a close economic relationship with the Mainland, it is no surprise that Hong Kong’s expat percentage of population is one of the highest in the world at 4.2% as of 2021. The international workforce plays a vital role in most companies’ global expansion strategies. And with remote working becoming the new normal, hiring global talents has never been easier. Below are 3 reasons why you should hire international talents for your business.

Benefits of Hiring International Employees

Accessing Skilled Talents

Companies now have unlimited access to a global community of talents, offering a wide range of skill sets, innovation and knowledge. For Hong Kong, jobs for global talents include Native English Teachers (NETs) and tech talents with a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).  According to research done by the Research Office of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Secretariat, Hong Kong is unlikely to be self-sufficient in the supply of STEM talent with only 6.6 researchers per thousand employed in 2018, falling behind most developed countries. International hiring helps your business in securing talents with demanding skills.

Expanding Globally

The most unique and valuable insight a foreign worker could bring would be a deeper understanding of the foreign business environment. Having an international on your team brings you closer to the foreign market as they are more familiar with the taste and preferences of your target foreign market, as well as the working culture of the foreign workforce. Hong Kong companies can start off by hiring overseas employees as interns here in Hong Kong and relocating recruit them as full-time workers in their home country overseas branches. This guarantees training quality and  saves you effort in hiring an expansion strategist or doing extensive market research. 

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

As Hong Kong business faces the global arena, employers are paying closer attention to their D&I agenda. More and more Hong Kong employers are proactively hiring a diverse workforce to bring in new ideas and a wide range of experiences. Looking at the list of winners of HR Asia Best Companies to Work For in Hong Kong 2020, most companies have expressed their commitment to embracing diversity.

Challenges of Hiring International Employees

Although hiring international talents can undoubtedly help your global expansion strategy, here are a few challenges that employers must be aware of when tapping into the global talent pool.

Language Barriers

According to research done by SCMP, only 1 in 5 job advertisements cater to non-Chinese speakers. With Cantonese being an important business language here in Hong Kong, it is difficult for employers to adjust their job details to cater to international job seekers. To gradually  integrate into the global market, companies can start by relaxing their language requirements for backend jobs such as software developers.

VISA Restrictions

As required by the Immigration Department of Hong Kong, employers are required to apply for a work visa on behalf of their foreign employees. Although it is a common practice for most companies in Hong Kong, companies applying for the first time may find the process complicated as an application requires multiple documents and that it usually takes more than one month to process.

Onboarding Support

It always takes time for someone to work in a new environment. It could be overwhelming especially for a foreign worker to adjust to a new language environment and culture. From relevant employment policies, tax regulations, and housing options, to recommending local restaurants, the company should provide assistance for their easy immersion into the local community.

2022 Trend: Remote Working

With COVID-19, 82% of Hong Kong businesses have adopted remote working. This digital transformation has opened up opportunities for companies to accelerate their international hiring. With remote working policies in place, companies could hire, manage and onboard their foreign talents virtually. Companies who hire virtually see a faster hiring process as it eliminates the need to apply for an employment VISA.

How can AIESEC HK help you with international hiring?

With a global presence in over 120 countries and territories and 4000+ tertiary institutions worldwide, AIESEC has access to a large pool of distinguished international youth talents. Our international hiring programme helps companies in Hong Kong to expand globally through recruitment and selection, talent onboarding and cultural immersions. Book a meeting with us for a personalized hiring consultation!

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