Job searching can be a tedious and worrying process, especially if you plan to have a fresh start in a new country. This is where recruiters come in handy with that extra bit of guidance and support to help advance your career and transition to Hong Kong.
For junior and entry level jobs, recruiters may not be necessary because there are plenty of postings from various sectors in online classifieds, such as Jobs DB, Career Times and job classifieds in South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s English newspaper. Over a hundred postings in various industries are updated on a daily or weekly basis and you can conveniently submit your C.V. and cover letter online.
If you are a recent graduate, you may want to look into graduate trainee programs from international corporations, such as Unilever and HSBC, which are typically 2 year, rotational programs that are posted on their respective company websites.
However, if you are in a mid-management or senior management level and planning to relocate to Hong Kong, recruitment agencies can assist you to advance your career and make your transition to Hong Kong a smooth one.
With Hong Kong as an international finance hub and large expatriate population from around the world, finance, legal and education industries are the big players that need recruits.
For executive level positions and finance professionals, there are boutique firms, such as Eban and Egron Zehnder that specializes in the finance industry and executive search respectively.
Established in Hong Kong in 2005, Eban specializes in recruiting executive professionals in investment banking, securities and asset management. With strong partnerships around the world, Eban boasts an intensive research process for every assignment from defining client’s targets, to maintaining close follow up relationships with clients after their job offer. Eban has offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Egron Zehnder specializes in executive and management level search in finance, technology, legal, human resources, communications and environment industries.
With offices in 5 continents, what sets Egron Zehnder apart is its worldwide network, experienced consultants and fixed price fees. Unlike most recruiters that deduct a percentage of your salary, the fixed price assignment enables their consultants to facilitate thorough and objective assessments with no conflict of interest.
For legal professionals, there is Lewis Sanders. A recruitment consultancy firm based in Hong Kong, it specializes in recruiting legal and compliance professionals.
With your long term career goals in mind and recruitment of legal professionals at all levels, Lewis Sanders have extensive networks within Asia and Europe and experience in relocating candidates overseas. It has an excellent track record in placing candidates in international and local law firms.
Another noteworthy recruitment agency is Connected Group. With its founding office in Hong Kong and over 16 years of experience, Connected Group has diverse clients from legal, banking, consumer, healthcare and manufacturing industries and offers innovative placement solutions.
Besides executive search and recruitment, they also offer project recruitment and consulting services, which may appeal to expats who would like flexibility in work-life balance. With three consultancy services, Connected Group for executive search, Connected Pro for project based recruitment and outsourcing and Connected HR, this agency has a flexible and creative approach to building sustainable relationships with clients of all industries. Several expatriates have recommended them for I.T. professions.
Of course, there are always the big names, such as Michael Page and Robert Half that are well known around the world with established offices in Asia. Compared to boutique agencies, these agencies have postings from almost all industries at every level for local and multi-national companies
Michael Page has a large repository of postings from legal to luxury sales and in Hong Kong its consultants are salaried-based and not commission-based, making every assignment thorough and objective.
Robert Half focuses more on the banking, accounting and IT industries.
Gemini Personnel Limited
Gemini Personnel Limited provides a wide spectrum of services globally. This recruitment agency has branch offices in China and solid experience in placing candidates in local and overseas positions. If you are interested in working in local companies, plan to expand your career in China in the future or possess Chinese language skills, it is worth a try.
For the education sector, while there are recruitment agencies in education, most international schools list their job postings on their school or foundation websites. Full time vacancies are usually posted from December to February but there are full time and substitute vacancies posted throughout the year as well.
The Hong Kong Government also has a competitive Native English Teacher (NET) scheme, which encourages native English speakers to teach in local schools in Hong Kong.
The main differences between international and local schools are that international schools are privately owned and may teach a specific curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate or British education system, so be sure to check that you meet the qualifications before applying.
While it may appear frustrating at first searching for a new job and relocating to a new city, it should be an exciting process. As with every job search using recruitment agencies, it is always important to take the time to determine your needs and find the right agency that has the resources and support to cater for your goals.