22 August 2019
Young job seekers are missing a lot of opportunities by being too choosy, according to recruitment experts. Photo: Xinhua
Young job seekers are missing a lot of opportunities by being too choosy, according to recruitment experts. Photo: Xinhua

Young job seekers after happiness, not pay

Young people are being overly selective in choosing jobs and most of them prefer happiness over pay, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported Friday, citing unnamed social workers.

At a job expo organized by the Labor Department and the New Territories Association Retraining Center on Thursday, it was observed that many young people opted for jobs that would make them happy and are in line with their interests while salary was not the primary concern.

An opening at Hong Kong Ocean Park that pays HK$10,000 (US$1,290) a month has attracted far more applications than a warehouse position that offers HK$13,000 a month.

More than 3,000 job seekers attended the expo which featured about 50 companies offering 4,500 positions

Ocean Park was the most sought-after employer, offering mostly frontline positions such as sales assistants, catering assistants and security guards. These jobs pay in the range of HK$10,000 a month or HK$46 an hour on a part-time basis.

Lam Yuen-ho, a youth employment officer at the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association, said some young job seekers misunderstand the job market, thinking employers would lower entry requirements if there are more vacancies.

The fact is, bosses rarely ease their requirements in the hope of filling a vacancy.

Li, a supervisor at an airport cargo forwarding company, said a job for a cargo and warehouse assistant offers HK$12,800 a month, yet there have been few applications because young people consider it hard work and the job location is too far.

Li said this specific position has nearly 100 openings on an ongoing basis.

He criticized young job seekers for being short-sighted given there are plenty of promotion opportunities in his company. In one instance, an assistant was promoted to supervisor in just six months

According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 19 rose to 14.6 percent in the second quarter, with young people being selective in looking for jobs.

August is a busy month for university graduates looking for jobs.

Besteam Personnel Consultancy general manager Edmond So said that despite an abundance of job openings, university graduate’s salary expectations are between HK$11,000 and HK$15,000, nearly 10 percent higher than market levels.

A position in a “big four” accountancy firm used to be a hot commodity but many young people now see such jobs as a lot of overtime work, according to Alexa Chow, managing director of Centaline Human Resources Consultants Ltd.

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