Comments Off on Identifying a High Performance hire in Hong Kong

Identifying a High Performance hire in Hong Kong

Posted by | November 22, 2013 | Recruitment, working-in-hong-kong

identifying-high-potential-hiresIdentifying a High Performance hire in Hong Kong, or anywhere else, is relatively straightforward. During an interview it will be apparent that they have sought out and achieved ‘stretch’ career goals, take pride in being ‘the best’ and are mentors and leaders that staff like to follow. Hiring high performers can be difficult as everyone wants to employ a ‘sure thing’ who will achieve more than a regular employee.

Tomorrow’s High Performers are today’s High Potentials and they share the same competencies, which are evident through behavior.

Identifying High Potential is harder, as you are looking for behaviors that might not have yet been marked through significant achievement.

You will see in the table below some typical high performer competencies and  questions that will allow you to look at the associated behavior.

Competency How to investigate behavior
Using Business Expertise Tell me about a time that applying your industry experience to a problem provided tangible benefits.
Solving Problems Tell me about a time you had to analyse information and make a recommendation. How did you do that and what was the outcome?
Demonstrating positive behavior Tell me about a time when you encountered obstacles while pursuing a stretch goal. Did you reach the goal and how did you overcome the issues?
Showing innovation or flexibility Describe the most creative idea that you’ve implemented to solve a problem. How did you come up with the solution and was it successful?
Being aware and effective Have you ever been displeased with your own performance? Why was that and what did you learn or do about it?
Developing healthy working relationships Describe a time that you received disappointing feedback from your boss. How did you feel and what remedial actions did you take?


The investigation should reveal behaviors indicative of the competency. For example, if an interviewee was to have behaviors indicative of having and ‘using ‘business expertise’, you might see them:

  • Keeping up-to-date on current business knowledge and trends
  • Anticipating the effect of new business trends on current practices
  • Understanding and applying new information to the workplace
  • Implementing strategies to enhance the efficiency or productivity of the organization

Once you have hired your high potential employee, you need to keep them challenged, developed and stimulated. Give them increasing responsibilities and autonomy, partner them with a high performer, provide training, recognition and leadership access when appropriate.

Please subscribe to our Facebook Page to see more Hong Kong interview advice in future blogs:

  • Identifying a Leadership hire in Hong Kong
  • Interviewing across cultures in Hong Kong
  • Interviewing across generations in Hong Kong
  • Who not to hire in Hong Kong

Peter Udall
Guest Editor

Comments Off on Hong Kong ranked in tenth place in the 2013 HSBC Expat Explorer survey

Hong Kong ranked in tenth place in the 2013 HSBC Expat Explorer survey

Posted by | November 20, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong


Download Full Report

China has been ranked in first place in the 2013 HSBC Expat Explorer survey, with Hong Kong coming in at tenth place.

In Summary:

  • Hong Kong remains a popular Expat destination amongst respondents, who are prominently (58%) aged under 34 years
  • 38% of the Expat respondents were aged aged 35-54 and 4% over age 55
  • In rankings by ‘Economics’, ‘Expat Experience” and ‘Raising Children Abroad’, the latter category is top
  • More than half of respondents thinks quality of childcare and education is better in Hong Kong than in home country

Other observations are as you might expect; low tax, high income, high cost of living, good personal security and good public transport.

Comments Off on Why your move to Hong Kong will cost you more than you think

Why your move to Hong Kong will cost you more than you think

Posted by | November 17, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

hong-kong-relocationMany expats moving to Hong Kong fail to consider all the financial consequences of their move.

If you are transferring your employer may meet some of your direct costs, but what about the:

  • First month, when you are in a serviced apartment, eating out, paying for ad-hoc child-care and using a laundry service
  • Setting up a new home with curtains, fixtures, appliances and possibly furniture
  • Deposits for housing and school places, possibly with the cost of a debenture
  • First tax bill you receive in Hong Kong, which will be both retrospective for salary earned and forward-looking for the forthcoming tax year

Also, have you considered the:

  • Loss of earnings, if you leave your employer without a new job and no Government ‘social security’
  • Loss of family income if your spouse can’t find work in the expected time-frame, or at all, or of the expected nature
  • Impact on your country-of-origin financial planning, taxation, insurances (are they valid in HK?) and investments
  • Additional cost-of-living expenses such as club memberships, increased entertaining and ancillary schooling costs (Mandarin tutor, trips, laptop)
  • Cost of repatriation when you leave Hong Kong

There will also be the unexpected family flights to attend occasions such as family weddings or Christmas. If your country-of-origin home is rented out, you’ll be staying in a hotel and renting a hire car.

When your kids ‘go home’ for University, will they be treated as non-resident?

For more information, visit

Comments Off on Why you won’t get a job in Hong Kong‏

Why you won’t get a job in Hong Kong‏

Posted by | November 12, 2013 | Recruitment, working-in-hong-kong

hong-kong-jobsWhen I speak to overseas candidates applying for jobs in Hong Kong there are a few key questions that I ask, as a professional recruiter:

  • “Why the interest in Hong Kong specifically”
  • “What obstacles to you and the family expect”
  • “Who have you applied to already”

These are loaded questions.

If you have done your homework, you will probably realize that already. If the questions elicit any of the following responses, your application is in danger of failing before it’s even started!

  • “I’m not looking just at Hong Kong, I’d consider anywhere in the world with a good climate and an environment favorable for….”
  • “We expect the kids to miss family and there will be the usual adjustments….”
  • “I’ve been applying extensively online for the last few months and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere…”

To find out why these answers will relegate your application, read more.

Peter Udall
Guest Editor

Comments Off on The top concerns of Hong Kong residents – a survey

The top concerns of Hong Kong residents – a survey

Posted by | November 3, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

Following our recent blog “Hong Kong to be less attractive for Expat managers?” we received a number of comments that the Hong Kong Government’s failure to address both English and Chinese education issues reflects a failure of local policy.

As a result, we are interested to survey what other issues are and whether they are meeting the expectations of Hong Kong residents.

Please take the survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Comments Off on Hong Kong to be less attractive for Expat managers?

Hong Kong to be less attractive for Expat managers?

Posted by | October 31, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, Recruitment, working-in-hong-kong

The ESF (see our schools page) is the largest provider of English Medium of Instruction (EMI) in Hong Kong. As reported in The Standard today, ESF chairman Carlson Tong Ka- shing said the ESF may have to increase fees by at least 23 percent when the Government subvention is phased out. The ESF already operates two Private Independent Schools that operate outside of the subvention. One of these, Discovery College has announced fee/levy increases amounting to 53% over 5 years.

ESF are running a business that is oversubscribed, so inflation-busting fee increases are likely to be sustainable in the short-term. The Education Department has approved the DiscoveryCollege increases, so Government has again signalled that EMI is a matter purely for private sector market economics.

For an Expat middle-manager with a couple of children, unchecked increases of this magnitude could be enough to make an ESF education unaffordable.

The resulting reduction of globally experienced staff, that bring overseas working practices and international experience to the local workplace will impact Hong Kong’s competitiveness.

Peter Udall
Guest Editor

Comments Off on Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Posted by | October 27, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong, moving-to-hong-kong, working-in-hong-kong

The new look website is finally up with a few tweaks and fixes to come. Contact us with any comments and give us a ‘like’ on FB if you can.

We are pleased to announce that you can follow our blog and job updates on both Facebook and Twitter (@workinghongkong).

Don’t delay, connect today!

Comments Off on Hong Kong employees are very dissatisfied!

Hong Kong employees are very dissatisfied!

Posted by | September 4, 2013 | working-in-hong-kong

hong-kong-unhappy-employeesThe latest Randstad Workmonitor survey polled employees from 32 countries around the world to find out which nation has the most satisfied workers. The most satisfied workers came from countries in the EU, namely Denmark, Norway and Switzerland.

The least satisfied employees cam from non-EU countries, specifically, Japan (28% of workers dissatisfied), Chili (13%) followed by Hong Kong (12%).

I guess the legendary Hong Kong work/life (lack of) balance isn’t to everyone’s liking!

Please leave your comments below.

Comments Off on Hong Kong is the World’s most liveable City

Hong Kong is the World’s most liveable City

Posted by | August 30, 2013 | living-in-hong-kong

The Economist Intelligence Unit is an independent business within The Economist Group providing clients with original analysis on a range of industries and issues. They recently help a competition, supported by, to determine if their ‘Cost of Living’ and ‘Livability’ surveys on global cities could be improved upon. The winning entry was deemed to have created an interactive user experience/strong visualization of the data and it added value to the scope of indicators previously surveyed. A Spacially Adjusted Liveability Index was created and incorporated into the results. This index comprised data on Green Space, Urban Sprawl, Natural Assets, Cultural Assets, Connectivity, Isolation and Pollution.


Hong Kong is the World’s most liveable Ciity

When the winning approach was applied to the EIU data, the best five cities in the world to live in are:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Osaka
  4. Paris
  5. Sydney

Download the full report 

Do you agree with the results and if not, why?

Comments Off on Should you quit?

Should you quit?

Posted by | June 17, 2013 | Uncategorized

Should I quit my job?The BBC today ran an employment article “Should I Quit? “. The Ingographic raised several interesting points and statistics:

  • 69% of workers are seeking a job or open to a new one
  • You should have 6 months of savings behind you to quit your job if you don’t have another offer lined up
  • 80% of workers who accept a counter-offer leave within a year
  • You should speak to your boss about being unhappy before you have another offer to fall back on
  • 88% of workers leave for something other than money

How do you think these statistics relate to the HK job market.

Would a HK Infographic on the same subject look different and how?

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