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Seeking out a new job and life in Hong Kong!

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  1. #1

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    Seeking out a new job and life in Hong Kong!

    Hi Forum,

    It's my first post here. After spending countless years deliberating on whether to just make the move to Hong Kong, or try and land a role their remotely, I have decided to move on over there next month. I can't wait and am hopeful that me being in Hong Kong will make some difference to securing a role.

    A little about me. Hope you don't mind this longish post. I have over a decade work experience in customer strategy, segment management, portfolio management and analytics. This has been spread over direct tenure with banks and consulting to banks. All my experience has been Asia focused (Greater China and South East Asia).

    Wanted to seek some counsel from the experienced members of this board who have been there done that.

    For those who just went to Hong Kong with no job:

    - Did you feel after landing on the ground and having a local mobile number that your job application response rates improved?
    - What worked best for you in terms of job search? Job application portals, company career websites, engaging recruiters or just doing the rounds at cafes and bars frequented by professionals?
    - Any tips on how to get my profile in front of potential hiring managers?

    Super thanks!

    DSB


  2. #2

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    I assume you are looking for a banking job, and the product/marketing department of wealth management arms ?
    Which country did you come from, if I may ask.

    I would have thought if you are going to apply for a job in the wealth management arms of most banks, not alot of difference. Foreign banks are quite open to take in foreigners with a decade of experience if you meet their needs. Local banks are less sophisticated so I am not sure if your specialties meet their needs.

    Only thing good about being here locally, you get to meet more people and maybe something will crop up. But being to quite a fair bit of networking events i realized its mostly hunters looking for jobs and not alot on offer. The normal chill out networking would bear better potentials.


  3. #3

    Local banks have most positions favouring HKID card holders in their minds, know a bit about China Businesses, can read both English and Chinese and use Mandarin.


  4. #4

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    Remember, you'll need to apply for an employment visa, which means you have to have a confirmed offer from an employer who is willing to sponsor you.


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by markranson:
    Remember, you'll need to apply for an employment visa, which means you have to have a confirmed offer from an employer who is willing to sponsor you.
    I don't think you would need a visa if you're simply applying to jobs and meeting recruiters, at least until the tourist visa expires which is 90 days for most countries. However you would want too be up-front with any employer/recruiter with the fact that you are not a HKPR and would require work visa sponsorship.
    shri likes this.

  6. #6

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    Depends on your financial situation and the level of job that you are looking for. Entry level jobs can be had faster whereas more senior roles can easily take 3-6 months to secure if you're in running mode. 12 months is not unheard of.

    Regards to your financial situation, HK is an expensive place to be without a job. If you are only coming here with a couple months money then likely you will be discouraged and stressed and that will show in your job search and interviews as desperate and no one wants to hire a desperate person, especially in HK.

    Working with a bank is one of the more difficult jobs to secure as well -- and time consuming. Picking up a job with a good size MNC is easier (minimum 100 staff in HK). You'll likely want to avoid the local companies, especially the smaller ones. You'll have every job task in the company and expected to work long hours. There are some opportunities financially for overseas companies starting in HK, packages can be lucrative but you should check their financials or have a slight understanding of their financials. This can be more luck to get.

    I personally don't believe in "networking" come and have a beer and get a job. But the networking that I do believe in is when your competitors see what work you are doing, then you become a valuable asset and it's easy to make a phone call or keep in touch with coffee breaks now and then for future opportunities.

    Getting a job is in itself a full time job. You will need to dot every i and cross every t. Your application needs to appeal to both a local HR and the hiring manager. Two completely different cultures and local HR don't have much initiative to see through the lines. Your CV needs to be clear, concise and to the point for that particular role.

    I've had very good luck with LinkedIn and JobsDB in the past. There are lots of opportunities there, but best to filter out the recruiters. I've had an offer to come in with a recruiter before but I absolutely hated working with recruiters. You may have a different experience.

    The best thing in HK is to work for yourself. You can control your schedule, it makes HK very enjoyable. Provided that you found a profitable venture.

    Good luck and welcome to HK!

    shri and Drunken Master like this.

  7. #7

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    Yes, I believe there is latent demand for better customer management in the wealth and private banking domains. I am Australian, was based in Singapore where I covered the region and am of Asian descent.

    Thanks for your insights so far. Can I ask what you think about recruiters?

    My experience has been less than fruitful with most recruiters not even responding. Probably because I wasn't based in Hong Kong.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tf19:
    I don't think you would need a visa if you're simply applying to jobs and meeting recruiters, at least until the tourist visa expires which is 90 days for most countries. However you would want too be up-front with any employer/recruiter with the fact that you are not a HKPR and would require work visa sponsorship.
    Correct, you don't need a work visa to come on holiday to HK and meet people, but nobody can employ you until you have an employment visa issued by the immigration department. If you work without an employment visa you are breaking the law. Also, without an employment visa you cannot apply for a HK ID Card and without the HKID you cannot open a bank account.

  9. #9

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    I can share some of my experiences, albeit in a different industry (I'm a management consultant with approx. 8 years experience).

    I landed in Hong Kong without a job 5 months ago (I have a dependent visa through my wife). It has been a lot more challenging finding a job than anticipated (and I am still looking!).

    I have a pretty strong CV, but I have previously worked across a variety of industries. Due to lack of local language skills, I am pretty much restricted to the financial services industry, and even then, within the largest blue-chip banks and insurers. The issue has been that I don't have much experience within that industry.

    I have mainly being looking through LinkedIn and recruiters, as well as exploring opportunities with my network here. I've found LinkedIn to be pretty crap - it definitely helps to make recruitment contacts, as they can at least get you interviews, if they're impressed with you.

    It is much much better to be on site here - I'd meet as many recruiters as possible, just so your name is out there. But I'd echo what's been said above - without contacts here, it may be harder than you expect, and Hong Kong is not a cheap place without a steady stream of income...

    Feel free to ask more questions, but like I said, I'm in a different industry, so your experience may differ.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by markranson:
    Correct, you don't need a work visa to come on holiday to HK and meet people, but nobody can employ you until you have an employment visa issued by the immigration department. If you work without an employment visa you are breaking the law. Also, without an employment visa you cannot apply for a HK ID Card and without the HKID you cannot open a bank account.
    This is not entirely true. You can open a bank account without any HK status. In fact you can open a HK bank account without ever stepping foot in HK.

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