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Benefit of being on the ground?

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  1. #1

    Benefit of being on the ground?

    Hi all,

    I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been searching for a job in HK on and off, but mostly off due to COVID, for some 18 months now (there are personal reasons I want to be there) and have received an offer. My pickle is that the role is tangentially related to what I really want to do, which is asset management (think the likes of Fidelity, Standard Life, Capital Group, etc.) - almost all of my experience is in this area. I'd also add the compensation including bonus is significantly less than what I would expect in asset management, though it's enough to have an okay life if I don't do my grocery shopping at Citysuper. The problem is that recruitment cycles in asset management can take as long as they need; to give an example, for one HK-based role, it took 4 months to go from applying to interviews and case study to the rejection email.

    So my question is: how much of a benefit will I have in being based in HK for the job hunt? I understand that many jobs are found in the "hidden" market and that headhunters may not engage with someone who isn't on the ground. But others' perspectives would be much appreciated.

    Corrib likes this.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    1,950

    Why HK?

    timothwc and qhank like this.

  3. #3

    I didn't work in your industry, but my experience was that it was a lot easier when in HK. Far more recruiters to discuss with and far more leads from each of those meetings, plus the potential for opportunities through less formal or more fortuitous meetings. The only opportunities I was getting when looking abroad tended to be extremely specialised.

    Why not take the job as a means of getting to HK then start looking for something else (after an appropriate amount of time) once there?


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    1,940

    TLDR

    I would just recommend not living on the ground in HK due to flooding, rats and nosy neighbours.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    187
    Quote Originally Posted by needgoodwine:
    Hi all,

    I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been searching for a job in HK on and off, but mostly off due to COVID, for some 18 months now (there are personal reasons I want to be there) and have received an offer. My pickle is that the role is tangentially related to what I really want to do, which is asset management (think the likes of Fidelity, Standard Life, Capital Group, etc.) - almost all of my experience is in this area. I'd also add the compensation including bonus is significantly less than what I would expect in asset management, though it's enough to have an okay life if I don't do my grocery shopping at Citysuper. The problem is that recruitment cycles in asset management can take as long as they need; to give an example, for one HK-based role, it took 4 months to go from applying to interviews and case study to the rejection email.

    So my question is: how much of a benefit will I have in being based in HK for the job hunt? I understand that many jobs are found in the "hidden" market and that headhunters may not engage with someone who isn't on the ground. But others' perspectives would be much appreciated.
    Now there are two types of people on geoexpat. The first are people who are actually in Hk, and mostly try to give the most timely advice to new comers
    then there’s another group, much larger, of people who haven’t been in Hong Kong for years. They are very bitter about the direction of the city, and make sure they come here with the snidest comments masquerading as opinion. I’m actually surprised no one has asked whether you’ve been in a coma for the last three years.
    just a heads up
    rs4, GentleGeorge, shri and 6 others like this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    80
    Quote Originally Posted by needgoodwine:
    Hi all,

    I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been searching for a job in HK on and off, but mostly off due to COVID, for some 18 months now (there are personal reasons I want to be there) and have received an offer. My pickle is that the role is tangentially related to what I really want to do, which is asset management (think the likes of Fidelity, Standard Life, Capital Group, etc.) - almost all of my experience is in this area. I'd also add the compensation including bonus is significantly less than what I would expect in asset management, though it's enough to have an okay life if I don't do my grocery shopping at Citysuper. The problem is that recruitment cycles in asset management can take as long as they need; to give an example, for one HK-based role, it took 4 months to go from applying to interviews and case study to the rejection email.

    So my question is: how much of a benefit will I have in being based in HK for the job hunt? I understand that many jobs are found in the "hidden" market and that headhunters may not engage with someone who isn't on the ground. But others' perspectives would be much appreciated.
    Good luck, I am in a similar position myself. Keep us posted on your decision and progress

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    1,950
    Quote Originally Posted by timothwc:
    Now there are two types of people on geoexpat. The first are people who are actually in Hk, and mostly try to give the most timely advice to new comers
    then there’s another group, much larger, of people who haven’t been in Hong Kong for years. They are very bitter about the direction of the city, and make sure they come here with the snidest comments masquerading as opinion. I’m actually surprised no one has asked whether you’ve been in a coma for the last three years.
    just a heads up
    Right, all just haters here. Nothing has changed in HK in the past 3 years and its a breeze to come here and do business...
    shri, mrgoodkat, huja and 1 others like this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    187
    Quote Originally Posted by mucaari:
    Right, all just haters here. Nothing has changed in HK in the past 3 years and its a breeze to come here and do business...
    thanks for identifying yourself.

    if hong kong is going to have a future, it will be carried on the backs of people who have wiped the slate clean, not living in the past, or those who haven't been here the last 3 years when it was burning down.

    two months ago, I was one of the ones first to question the sanity of those mulling a move hk-side due to the experiences I've had here. I no longer dwell on those. but don't worry, Mr Goodwine would probably take into consideration your input(if any).

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    928

    If you're looking at roles with a salary c.70k+ then I wouldn't see not being on the ground as a substantive hurdle to potential employers, particularly given I presume you are looking at MNCs. There's precious little talent over here and very few open to moving here. A cover letter that makes your situation clear and (presumably) a willingness to be on the ground ASAP and cover your own relocation costs etc. would help if a hiring manager was hesitating.

    Below that level an overseas candidate starts to feel like a hassle (and probably not something your hiring manager will have been through before) and I think you'd find it much easier applying from over here.

    Anahan, timothwc, qhank and 7 others like this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,097

    I had the same process some 6 years ago, found it very hard to get to even the first stage of interviews when I was in Europe. I actually still find it hard to get to interviews when I'm on the ground. Jobs in HK are mostly found through connections if you don't have a unique competence, which I don't. In the end I got one job offer, couldn't stand around and wait for a better, had to get back to HK. So I took it, went backwards salary wise to what I made 4-5 years prior. It hurt my salary progression to this day I would say. But money is not everything I managed to come back to this fantastic city and live here these past 6 years, would not have changed the decision I made!

    shri, Corrib, needgoodwine and 3 others like this.

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