Published in Hong Kong News on 21.08.2023
HK News: Restrictions on language proficiency hinder Hong Kong companies from attracting international talent
Hong Kong has been easing immigration rules left and right to attract more foreign workers into the city.
However, one problem — as pointed out by Mathew Gollop, managing director of Connected Group — is that some firms still fail to hire talent from overseas due to limiting factors such as language requirements.
“A candidate of mine took on a new role. His role is to look at talent as part of their diversity program and his first conversation with the talent function was to say, ‘Why do so many of our job descriptions have ‘must speak Cantonese?’ The response was: ‘We don’t know, that’s just what it says on the job description,’” Gollop told Hong Kong Business.
“Of course, many jobs in the local market will require Cantonese as a language but that’s a huge limiting factor when we know that the local talent market is decreasing. If we’re looking outside of that, then we’re going to have to be more flexible on some of these language requirements,” he said.