Hong Kong is an extremely dynamic city which attracts many expatriates from all over the world. However, finding a job in Hong Kong is not as easy as it used to be. Indeed, visa regulations are becoming increasingly stricter and the competition fiercer among expatriates, so here is our advice to optimize your job search strategy.
Examine your situation
Each country has its own distinctive style when it comes to recruitment process. To optimize your chances of success, the first thing you should do is analyze the local employment market. Try to find out how you can position yourself on this market, determine your key skills, explore the job opportunities in your sector and examine the qualifications that are required for the positions you wish to apply for.
Hong Kong is an international finance center with a large expatriate population and professional sectors such as banking, finance, insurance, law or education offer numerous job opportunities.
As competition is extremely fierce among both expatriates and locals in Hong Kong, don’t forget to really brand yourself. Prepare an elevator pitch that you can use if you meet someone from your industry, a recruiter or simply a new connection. You need to be able to introduce yourself within a few minutes and explain what you are looking for. Take some time to work on your speech to make sure that you are able to catch the interest of your interlocutor and make them remember you!
In addition, adapt your CV to the Hong Kong market and make sure you really highlight your key skills and relevant working experiences. Also think of optimizing your LinkedIn profile as most companies in Hong Kong are very active on the platform.
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce
If you are already in Hong Kong, it can be really interesting for you to contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Indeed, most of them will offer you the opportunity to meet one of their recruitment consultants who will guide you through your job search. Some will help you improve your CV, inform you about the local job market or give you advice about the kind of companies or industries you should target and the salary you should expect for instance.
Also, if your profile fits one of their current job openings, they will have the possibility to send your application directly to the hiring company. For this reason, make sure that you really show your motivation and key competences to the consultants as they will be the ones recommending you.
Don’t hesitate to contact your Chamber regularly as many candidates usually go through this process when they arrive in Hong Kong, so make sure you don’t miss any opportunity!
For more information, here is a list of all Chambers of Commerce and Industry based in Hong Kong.
Explore new networking opportunities
To discover new job opportunities and meet new expatriate and local professionals, don’t forget to engage in a few networking events. Whether it is a cocktail, a coffee break or a conference for instance, you will have the opportunity to meet new professionals from your industry or with the same occupation as yours who might be able to give you some specific advice, to inform you about potential business opportunities or introduce you to someone who could help you through your job search.
Being new in the city can in some cases be a disadvantage if you are looking for a position and must compete with candidates who already have a strong professional network in Hong Kong.
Don’t know where to start? Try Internations, which regularly launches social events gathering many expatriates from all over the world. Most Chambers of Commerce also throw regular networking events where you can meet professionals from your home country. For more specific events, you can also explore the upcoming professional Meetups in Hong Kong. And to make sure you don’t miss any interesting opportunity, regularly check Facebook groups dedicated to expatriate communities or professional networks.
Last but not least, as it is quite easy to meet expatriates, don’t forget to mingle with local professionals as they might have a lot to teach you about the job market in Hong Kong.
Use recruitment firms
Finally, you can find a lot of postings from various sectors and for different management levels on websites such as JobsDB, Indeed Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post or LinkedIn. Many job offers are published every day and it represents a very efficient way to send your CV and cover letter online.
But to increase your chances, contacting recruitment agencies directly can also be a good alternative. Once again, if you have an interesting profile, recruiters will be able to send your application directly to the hiring companies. Target the agencies that are relevant to your industry, to the position you are looking for and to your management level to optimize your chances of being contacted by recruiters.
Keep in mind that headhunters and recruitment firms are often highly solicited by applicants and that they can only help you if you are a perfect fit for their client. However, many expatriates have found a job through this process!
Insurance cover for professional expatriates
If you had the chance to find a new job opportunity in Hong Kong, one of the first things you should do is take a look at covering your health. If your employer doesn’t provide you with an insurance plan, don’t hesitate to contact one of our advisers to discuss your options.
Picture: Courtesy of StoryBlocks
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