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Hong Kong firms seek offshore talent as some expats exit
Published on: 2022-04-12
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The number of Hong Kong companies looking to hire offshore workers has risen following an outflow of expats leaving for Singapore, which scrapped its Covid-19 restrictions last month, and elsewhere.

Hong Kong’s fifth and severest wave of Covid-19 infections led to the introduction of the city’s most stringent anti-epidemic measures, driving Hong Kong-based professionals to seek international opportunities, data from online recruitment platform Glints shows. It has also pushed firms in the city to find overseas talent through the platform.

“A lot of people working in Hong Kong are looking to … be based in countries where there are fewer travel restrictions,” said Oswald Yeo, CEO and co-founder of Singapore-based Glints. The platform provides matching services for Southeast Asian companies looking for professionals for remote work. Its clients in Hong Kong increased by 75 per cent between 2019 and 2021.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor recently conceded that the city’s restrictions had contributed to exits by talent. Last week, the government lifted flight bans on nine countries and shortened the hotel quarantine requirement to seven days. But non-residents are still barred, except those arriving from mainland, Macau and Taiwan. This has driven professionals to neighbouring markets, notably Singapore, which has a similar economic system to the special administrative region.

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