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The following report provides an update on the key trends that we have observed within the Sales & Marketing job market in Hong Kong. It identifies emerging themes across various industries and details the major factors impacting hiring and talent movement.


  • In the first half of 2017, the US and European economies grew by 2% and 1.7% respectively. Evidently, major political events such as Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election and Brexit have both had a profound effect on economic systems internationally.

  • In Hong Kong, the Government recorded an economic growth rate of 4.3% in the first quarter of 2017, and the outlook for the rest of the year is also positive.

  • Despite the positive numbers and upward trend, the sentiment of most employers towards hiring is conservative. In today’s environment, restructures and retrenchments have become commonplace for many companies regardless of which industry sector they operate in.

  • Moody’s downgraded Hong Kong’s credit rating and outlook shortly after China’s credit rating was downgraded in May.


  • FMCG and retail sales have been more positive this year compared to 2016 but hiring activity is still subdued as companies favour restructures and retrenchment in a bid to control costs. Some smaller brands have been recruiting in order to boost sales and build out their digital marketing capabilities but most have been either replacement exercises or more transactional roles.  

  • An increasing number of consumer brands and retailers have been investing in eCommerce and online sales channels, from strategic planning and feasibility research to hiring additional staff in this space.  

  • Businesses have been placing greater emphasis on improving customer retention rates by offering better customer experiences, so naturally customer experience design, loyalty solutions, rewards programs and CRM related roles are in high demand.

  • Employers are also investing in their corporate communication function in order to further enhance their corporate reputation, CSR and employer branding across integrated platforms.

  • Professionals with data solutions and big data analytics experience are currently being sought after by life insurance companies, many of whom continue to achieve positive growth in the region.


  • Average salary increases in 2017 across all industries have fallen somewhere between 3% to 4%. Specifically, employees in the retail, consumer products and hospitality industries received slightly lower increases, ranging from 2% to 3%, while employees in the insurance and technology industries were on the higher end of the scale, receiving increments ranging from 5% to 9%.

  • Similarly, bonuses within the retail, consumer and hospitality sectors were in the vicinity of 8% to 15%, whereas bonuses in the insurance and technology industries were much higher, hovering around 20 to 40%.


  • Digital marketing, content marketing, eCommerce, analytics, application development and cybersecurity professionals will continue to be in great demand, which is in line with the surge of disruptive technologies and digital business transformation.

  • With companies placing more emphasis on improving customer experiences, marketers will find themselves working more closely with IT and technology departments on both product and service innovation.

  • Candidates, who are bilingual in Mandarin and English, with proven experience working in China, are predicted to be in demand in the years ahead. This is due to the still growing connection Hong Kong endures with China, meaning that an increasing number of companies in Hong Kong will source employees who are able to help them execute their expansion plans in Greater China. Knowledge of mainland Chinese consumer behaviour and preferences along with the ability to communicate effectively with mainland Chinese are some of the desirable candidate attributes that will be vital for many firms.

  • Hiring activity focused on business generation and acquisition roles will also be prominent as companies continue to look for ways to maximise revenue.


Brenda Choy, Associate Director, Profile Search & Selection


August 2017