More than three in every five (63%) of companies in Hong Kong are still proceeding with their plans to hire talent for replacement and critical roles despite the anticipated business impact from COVID-19, according to Randstad Hong Kong’s Employer Pulse Survey.
The COVID-19 poll was conducted between February 24 and March 2 with 372 respondents, including employers and HR professionals.
Results show that one in every four companies (25%) surveyed have chosen to either freeze hiring or parked those headcounts until a later date.
“Many employers would have planned their hiring activities for the first quarter as they know that’s when job seekers are open to new opportunities after bonus season,” said Natellie Sun, managing director of search and selection for Greater China at Randstad. “Given this trend, it’s business-as-usual for many organisations that still have vacant roles to fill and targets to hit.”
Nine in 10 (91%) made business arrangements to protect their employees, with close to to two-thirds (65%) allowing their employees to work from home to prevent any potential community transmissions.
Also, 22% of employers introduced shift or split team arrangements for employees to come to the office on different days of the week. A few others (4%) had allowed their employees to leave work earlier to avoid peak hours.
However, 24% of respondents said that this arrangement is only a temporary measure and they will not implement a work-from-home policy as an employee benefit after COVID-19.
Still, 44% said they already offer remote working as an employee benefit to either all of their staff or select employees and functions.
Even then, only 8% are fully-equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support remote work
More than half of the companies surveyed (51%) said that they will review and upgrade their digital infrastructure to ensure more effective productivity, collaboration and communication after COVID-19.
One-third (34%) said that they will issue laptops to their employees to enable remote working and 20% will invest in strengthening their cybersecurity network to protect their company’s data.
“COVID-19 could have accelerated the plans that employers already had about remote working and upgrades to their technology infrastructure,” said Sun.