Low Unemployment Isn’t Always Good News

A tighter labour pool means more competition for talent, and tougher times for HR departments

If low unemployment figures are an indicator of economic health, Hong Kong is in pretty good shape. The SCMP recently reported that the unemployment rate is at a 20-year low. And, the most recent statistics from the Census & Statistics Department, show it is staying that way. The headlines on every update for the last 12 months say the same thing – Unemployment stays at 2.8%.”

In fact, Hong Kong is arguably doing even better than the United States on the job front. Although it is the world’s biggest economy, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American unemployment rate is still higher than Hong Kong’s at 3.6%.


War for talent is heating up

However, with unemployment down, the war for talent is heating up. Even worse, the war isn’t over when you hire someone. That’s when the real battle to retain people begins.

According to LinkedIn stats, based on the data of half-a-billion professionals,

turnover impacts talent-focused fields more than others. Industries such as retail and consumer products industries, saddled with some of the highest turnover rates.

This is particularly problematic because turnover can be expensive. Losing an entry-level employee costs employers 50% of that person’s annual salary. But, losing a technical or senior-level employee can cost even more – as much as 125% of their annual salary, according to LinkedIn.

This is a horizontal, color photograph of two businessmen having a casual consultation outside in the financial district of Hong Kong


New Challenges Need New Solutions

To deal with this challenge, HR leaders need to find ways to engage more closely with candidates and employees, focusing on their needs as much as, or even more than their own.

That means more than offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, but also promoting a compelling employer brand and career growth options. And, after candidates become employees, HR has to lead the charge for creating and maintaining a valuable and rewarding employee experience that puts the employee at the heart of initiatives.

It’s not just finding workers that poses a huge challenge for organizations. It’s recruiting – and retaining – skilled workers that is tough for companies today. That’s because recruitment isn’t just a numbers game. The quality of talent can have significant business impact at every level. Even though an employee working the floor at a department store may not fit the traditional idea of a skilled employee, they need to excel at their job to ensure personal and organizational success.

That’s not the end of the story either. The speed of change is accelerating. What we used to call change management is now simply management. That means employees need to be constantly developing their existing skills and learning new ones to keep up with business demands.


HCM Can Change The Game For Talent-Focused Industries

That low unemployment figure is starting to look like a mixed blessing. And one that is putting pressure on HR teams to find, retain and train employees to make sure they have the skills to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.

For many organizations – especially those in talent-focused sectors – the answer to overcoming these challenges is digital transformation.

A complete HCM (Human Capital Management) system that streamlines and optimizes the management of the employee lifecycle can be a game-changer. It offers a chance to revolutionize the quality of a company’s most valuable asset – people – by improving recruitment and retention processes, and ensuring more effective and efficient workforce planning.

Undergoing a massive overhaul of legacy HR systems, or even just upgrading one specific area, can bring a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The good news is that businesses don’t have to go it alone. With its innovative HCM suite, SAP SuccessFactors provides solutions for these emerging challenges.

Read full product feature brochure now: https://www.successfactors.com/content/dam/successfactors/en_us/resources/brochures-product/talent-management.pdf


Ocean Park Shifts HR Into High Gear

Take Ocean Park for example. As well as being the world’s 13th most visited theme park, and one of the largest in Asia, it has also shifted its HR into high gear with a talent management transformation using SAP SuccessFactors.

It came at a perfect time for the park, which is going through an expansion phase, with employee figures are expected to grow by anything from 25-30%. As the challenges multiplied, the need for efficient and effective learning management and performance management became increasingly acute.

The impact has been tremendous, with the Park improving the efficiency of HR business processes for performance management and goal management, increase the adoption rate of new software features, and introduce a systematic learning guide or comprehensive learning structure.



It has put Ocean Park on course to a successful future. As well as supporting its large workforce today, the new SAP SuccessFactors solutions will also accommodate ambitious expansion plans, including the opening of Hong Kong’s first All-weather Water World scheduled for 2019.

Click here to find out more about Ocean Park’s talent transformation.


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