Finding a job in Hong Kong : differences with Europe

 

I am currently looking for a new job in Hong Kong, so I thought I would chronicle the process.

In this first post, I give an insight into the difference with job hunts in Europe (from my experience of course).

Lull in the market between December and February

Just like Europe, the job market comes to a stall at the end of the year until February.

The reason is most Chinese companies give out employee bonuses around Chinese New Year so employees wait until then to resign from their roles.

In the same logic, the market really picks up just after Chinese New Year as many positions are vacated.

 

Online job boards are not very useful

In Europe I got all my positions by applying via online job boards, either directly to the company or a recruitment agency.

This technique isn’t very successful in Hong Kong, in particular for expats or senior roles. I have read in many articles that networking is a lot more efficient. I haven’t tried myself just yet.

 

Recruitment agents do not read your CV

I’ve had several phone calls from agents where I instantly realised the recruiter had only read the title of my CV before calling . The agent usually asks questions to which the answers are clearly stated on my CV.

I fully understand the recruiter wanting more details about my experience, but asking me what degree I have and what language I speak shows my profile hasn’t been studied before the call was made.

 

Recruitment agents will not waste their and your time

If an agent realises mid phone call or interview you are not a good match for the job they have on hand, they will tell you immediately and will end the interview.

This is quite the opposite of what I experienced in the UK where agents are happy to have quite lengthy conversations and get to know you as a person, but will not get in touch again if you do not fit the position.

 

Job hunting is never easy, recruitment techniques are evolving with technology and being in a foreign country without speaking the language or a visa makes it even harder!

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