KPMG’s seventh annual Hong Kong Executive Salary Outlook analyses a survey of 1,327 business executives and professionals across six industry sectors to take a measure of the employment market and trends in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

Hong Kong (SAR) faced a challenging 2022, with its economy significantly impacted by the fifth wave of COVID-19. Despite the challenging economic climate, businesses faced a tight employment market due to high demand and a shortage of talent. There is increasing upward pressure on salaries and staff costs as businesses are competing for a limited pool of talent based locally. 

Talent retention and attraction are major concerns for employers. Expectations for salary increments when changing jobs remain high among respondents to the survey. At the same time, salary reviews are increasingly being used as part of companies’ retention strategy. While the survey indicates that remuneration remains the most important motivation for professionals to consider  switching jobs, companies also need to take note of the other benefits desired by talent, including flexible working options, housing benefits and share-based awards.

With Hong Kong having started relaxing its measures to contain the pandemic towards the end of 2022, and the border with the Chinese Mainland having reopened at the start of this year, the business community looks to 2023 with renewed optimism. In line with this, more than a third (37%) of respondents expect staff numbers at the Hong Kong operations of their organisations to increase in 2023.

In addition to a salary outlook for a number of key sectors in Hong Kong, the report also looks into the views of talent regarding the career opportunities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Key motivations for talent to consider relocating in the GBA include better career prospects, broader work exposure and achieving a higher income. The further development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) is expected to result in increased career opportunities, while allowing Hong Kong employers to tap into a wider talent pool.