The vast majority (90%) of Hong Kong businesses surveyed by Robert Half anticipate challenges in upskilling staff to adapt to new technology, versus the 88% average in Asia Pacific and the global 78%.
The annual survey, said Robert Half, was conducted in January 2019 by an independent research firm, surveying 6075 business leaders in 13 countries worldwide: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK.
According to survey results, 61% of Hong Kong companies have increased their staff training budgets over the last two years, compared to 65% across APAC, and 64% globally.
Hong Kong companies have implemented the following training options to help staff adapt to new technology, Robert Half said.
- 48% In-person training through seminars and courses
- 38% Working with a mentor
- 36% Online courses
- 29% Knowledge transfer from interim/contractors or other subject matter experts to staff.
Flexible staffing to help bring in necessary skills
Aside from training existing teams, Hong Kong companies are also looking at bringing in the necessary skills, though this is also not without challenges, said Elaine Lam, associate director of Robert Half Hong Kong.
Close to eight in ten (77%) Hong Kong business leaders believe it is challenging to source professionals skilled in the new technologies their company will be implementing—above the global average of 71%, survey results indicate.
To build more agile teams that are responsive to the benefits of new technology, 72% of Hong Kong business leaders are endorsing a flexible staffing model which utilizes experienced interim/contract professionals to transfer knowledge and upskill through their existing teams, compared to 69% of their global peers, the firm added.
“Flexible staffing allows Hong Kong companies to quickly onboard the most suitable contracting talent to manage critical projects and share their skills with existing teams. In tandem with a robust professional development program, this can support company goals to build the skilled workforce needed to maximise the opportunities offered by evolving technologies,” Lam noted.