The option to work flexible hours is the top consideration for people seeking employment in Hong Kong, according to a new survey by recruiting company Hays.

The vast majority (87 per cent) of candidates said flexibility was one of the most important factors when deciding on an offer from a new employer. Only six per cent were unsure how important they felt flexible working options are.

Jobseekers in Malaysia were even keener on flexible work, with 89 per cent citing it as ‘very important’, but in China it was lower down the agenda – only 76 per cent surveyed felt the same way.

Dean Stallard, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong, said: “Candidates are expecting greater flexibility around their hours of work which, in turn, has increased their work-life balance expectations along with the ability to choose options such as ‘active-desking’ or to work from home.”

He believes the poll results are indicative of the generational changes affecting the way candidates want to work in 2017 – something HR teams are no doubt noticing.

“The promotion of a modern work environment with new technology and constant challenges is becoming more important in attracting candidates with a greater need for flexibility,” Stallard said. “These candidates will be attracted to employers that can satisfy their interest for variety and modern technology as this will be more conducive to flexible working practices.”

However, other considerations are also important for candidates before they apply for a new job. Many recruitment experts believe that having a celebrity leader at the helm of an organisation is a big plus too. In particular, a charismatic spokesperson in the Jack Ma or Elon Musk mould can make finding and retaining top talent easier.

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