“Naked resignations” are a rising trend in Hong Kong

Hong Kong workers are increasingly leaving their previous jobs before securing a new offer, most commonly because they "could not stand" those jobs.
By: | June 7, 2019

According to the latest jobsDB 2019 Job Seeker Salary Survey, Hong Kong workers are increasingly resigning before confirming their next step.

The survey, which canvassed the opinion of 3,192 job seekers from mid-March to mid-April this year, found that more than one-third (36%) of respondents had decided to leave their previous jobs before securing a new offer.

Over half (54%) of those who resigned from their previous jobs before securing a new job listed key reasons as “could not stand their previous jobs”, followed by “confidence in getting a new job soon” (34%), “planned a vacation between two jobs” (29%), and “no financial burden and thus no urgency to get a new job” (23%).

In terms of age group and work experience, respondents aged below 25 or with less than 2 years of work experience tend to resign before securing a new offer (50% and 44% respectively), indicating that young people are more prone to job switching.

“As shown in the earlier jobsDB Laws of Attraction study, compared with other age groups, Generation Z does not place much emphasis on finding permanent roles. Instead, they prefer to enjoy benefits such as sabbatical leave, flexible working hours and remote work,” said Isaac Shao, Country Manager of jobsDB Hong Kong.

“It is important for employers to understand this trend and try not to be biased against job seekers who decide to stop working. Instead, they should explore the reasons behind these decisions and focus on the overall performance of the individual,” he added.


Hong Kong salaries increase at a slower rate than last year

The survey also found that the average salary increase in Hong Kong in 2019 was 5.1%, a slight decline from 5.7% in 2018.

Jjob seekers who move in-line with optimal job switch frequency (once every three years), will get an average of a 17% increase in annual pay compared with their first full-time jobs.

However, if job seekers have changed jobs five times or more in the same period, they will only see an increase of 14% on average.

Conversely, respondents who never change jobs will only see an average of annual pay rise of 6%, lower than all other groups.

In fact, 30% of respondents changed their jobs in the past 12 months, with almost half of them (49%) stating they were “not happy with salary / benefits” or seeking “higher pay in a new job” (37%), revealing key push factors, even among those who will stay at the same rank.

Notably, 31% of respondents changed their jobs because of “too much workload / pressure”. This follows the recent recognition by the World Health Organisation of burnout as an “occupational syndrome”, something which deserves attention from employers and the general public.

However, “discontent with company culture / management style” (50%) is still the top reason for changing jobs.

“To many employees, the company culture or management style they desire is centred around recognition and respect. Employers should see their teammates as valuable assets and pay more attention to offering them respect and compliments at the right time. This will help to boost their loyalty to stay,” said Shao.