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Language Barriers for Recruitment Consultants in Hong Kong

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  1. #1

    Talking Language Barriers for Recruitment Consultants in Hong Kong

    Hi everyone, I'm an expat from the UK and new here.

    I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice regarding language barriers in Hong Kong.

    I'm a Recruitment Consultant, in the Technology space, and looking to move to Hong Kong this July.

    I'm just a little concerned about the level of English in Hong Kong, because this job requires a lot of communication. It's basically 100% of what the job is about.

    I'm currently in Malaysia, and English isn't perfect here, but I'm able to operate without any real problems.

    For my next move, I'm aiming for Singapore or Hong Kong. I know the English level in Singapore will be a lot better, but I feel that I would prefer Hong Kong as a place to live and work.

    I'm a 27 years old and single, and my situation would apparently be better matched to Hong Kong, as Singapore is more family orientated.

    Would be interested to hear your thoughts. Especially from any western Non-Chinese speaking expats in the Recruitment industry.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Chris


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    @cprosper might be able to provide some insight.


  3. #3

    Join Date
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    So far most of the recruitment agents I've met were native Chinese speakers, although with very good (almost native) English. I know at least one English guy (agent) as well who lives and works here. I think if banks and international companies are your client base, English is enough and lots of people will speak it well.

    Day to day the majority of locals speak passable to very good English. Some don't of course, and the farther you get from Central the fewer people speak English.


  4. #4

    Join Date
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    There's quite a lot of expat recruitment advisors out here in HK, Some transferred from the London office of the usual multinationals such as Hays, Hudson etc etc.

    So it shouldn't really be an issue but it's still worth learning the basics in the meantime.

    Fiona in HKG likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Not an issue, plenty of expat in that area.

    jrkob likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Hong Kong
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    I prefer to deal with native English speaking recruitment consultants. And I chose our real estate advisors last week partly because the ones I chose spoke better English and seemed to connect with me better. However, if you are placing a lot of locals, you will struggle. Like likes like. Expat hires into expat firms - perfect. Local hires into expat firms or expat hires into local firms... not so good. Local hires into local firms... forget it.

    angeluscomplex likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    325

    HK could do with some good technology recruiters...

    jimbo likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by octarine:
    HK could do with some good technology recruiters...
    Yup the ones I've been dealing with have been terrible

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    @cprosper might be able to provide some insight.
    Hi Chris, as most of the replies have suggested, there are plenty of expat recruiters here in HK, who don't speak a word of Chinese, so stress not.
    Most HK Chinese speak very good English - so really, you will be fine.

    Good Luck!

    Chris

  10. #10

    Thanks everyone for the replies. It helps a lot.

    I'm currently considering my options to move here or Singapore. I will open a new thread for the comparisons. :P


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