How to Hire Employees In Hong Kong

HKHR is a digitally progressive recruitment agency in Hong Kong and we have been helping companies hire employees since 2010. We are here to help you too if your looking for staff, temporary or permanent in this competitive and dynamic market. In this blog post, we will share with you some tips and best practices on how to hire employees in Hong Kong, based on our extensive experience and industry knowledge.

Hiring employees in Hong Kong can be a challenging and complex process, especially if you are new to the local market or looking for foreign talent. You need to be aware of the legal requirements, the cultural expectations, and the recruitment strategies that work best in Hong Kong. Here are some steps that you can follow to make your hiring process more effective and successful.

Step 1: Understand the Hong Kong employment law and regulations

Before you start considering how to hire employees in Hong Kong, you need to familiarize yourself with the key legislation that governs the employment relationship in Hong Kong. The Employment Ordinance is the main law that covers most employees in Hong Kong, except for some exceptions such as family members, seafarers, or apprentices1. The Employment Ordinance sets out the minimum standards and conditions of employment, such as wages, working hours, rest days, annual leave, maternity leave, termination, and severance payments1. You need to ensure that your employment contract terms comply with the Employment Ordinance and do not violate any of its provisions.

In addition to the Employment Ordinance, there are other laws and regulations that you need to be aware of when hiring employees in Hong Kong, such as:

  • The Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Schemes Ordinance, which requires employers and employees to make mandatory contributions to a retirement fund scheme.
  • The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, which requires employers to take out insurance policies to cover their liabilities for work-related injuries or diseases suffered by their employees.
  • The Minimum Wage Ordinance, which sets the statutory minimum wage rate for all employees in Hong Kong.
  • The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, which regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data of individuals by data users such as employers.
  • The Anti-Discrimination Ordinances, which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, disability, family status, race, or sexual orientation in various aspects of employment.

You need to ensure that you comply with all these laws and regulations when hiring employees in Hong Kong and avoid any legal risks or penalties.

Step 2: Define your hiring needs for your employee in Hong Kong

Before you start hiring employees in Hong Kong, you need to have a clear idea of what kind of talent you need for your business. You need to define your hiring needs and criteria based on your business goals, budget, and timeline. You need to consider factors such as:

  • The job description and specifications: What are the main duties and responsibilities of the role? What are the skills, qualifications, experience, and competencies required for the role? What are the performance indicators and expectations for the role?
  • The salary and benefits package: What is the market rate and range for the role? What are the benefits and incentives that you can offer to attract and retain talent? How do you benchmark your salary and benefits package against your competitors?
  • The hiring process and timeline: How many stages are involved in your hiring process? What are the methods and tools that you use to source, screen, interview, assess, and select candidates? How long does each stage take? How do you communicate with candidates throughout the process?

It’s imperative to have a clear and consistent hiring plan that aligns with your hiring needs and criteria. You also need to document your hiring plan and criteria and communicate them to your hiring team and stakeholders.

Step 3: Source and attract qualified candidates

Once you have defined your hiring needs and criteria, you need to find and attract qualified candidates who match your requirements. You can use various methods and channels to source and attract candidates depending on how “hands on” and personally involved you want to be in the process,, examples include :

Low Involvement

Moderate Involvement

  • Employee referrals: You can encourage your existing employees to refer their contacts who may be suitable for your vacancies. Employee referrals can help you tap into a pool of passive candidates who may not be actively looking for jobs but may be interested in working for you. Employee referrals can also help you reduce your hiring costs, improve your employer brand, and increase your employee retention and engagement.
  • Social media: You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube to promote your job openings and employer brand. You can also use social media to interact with potential candidates, share your company culture and values, showcase your work environment and projects, and highlight your employee testimonials and stories.

High Involvement

  • Networking events: You can attend or host networking events such as career fairs, seminars, workshops, webinars, or meetups to connect with potential candidates in person or online. You can also use networking events to demonstrate your industry knowledge and thought leadership, build relationships and trust with candidates, and generate referrals and leads.

You need to use a combination of methods and channels that suit your hiring needs and budget. You also need to monitor and measure the effectiveness of your sourcing and attraction strategies and adjust them accordingly.

Step 4: Screen and select the best candidates

Once you have sourced and attracted a pool of candidates, you need to screen and select the best candidates who fit your hiring criteria. You need to use various methods and tools to screen and select candidates, such as:

  • Resume screening: You can review the resumes of candidates to check their qualifications, experience, skills, achievements, and suitability for the role. You can also use resume screening software or tools to automate the process and filter out unqualified or irrelevant candidates.
  • Phone screening: You can conduct phone interviews with shortlisted candidates to verify their information, assess their communication skills, gauge their interest and motivation, and clarify any questions or concerns. You can also use phone screening software or tools to record, transcribe, or score the phone interviews.
  • Online assessments: You can administer online tests or assessments to evaluate the aptitude, personality, skills, or knowledge of candidates. You can also use online assessment software or tools to create, administer, or score the online tests or assessments.
  • Face-to-face interviews: You can conduct face-to-face interviews with selected candidates to further explore their fit for the role and the company. You can also use face-to-face interview software or tools to schedule, conduct, or record the face-to-face interviews.
  • Reference checks: You can contact the references of final candidates to verify their employment history, performance, behavior, strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations. You can also use reference check software or tools to automate the process and collect feedback from references.

We at HKHR recommend a combination of methods and tools that suit your hiring criteria and process. You also need to ensure that your screening and selection methods and tools are fair, valid, reliable, consistent, and compliant with the law.

Step 5: Make an offer and onboard the new hire

Now you have identified your chosen candidate, it is time to actually hire your employee for Hong Kong ! This stage is critical and necessates careful handling, companies that have built up a good candidate experience will be well set for this point of the process. Once you have identified the best candidate for the role, you need to make an offer and onboard the new hire. You need to consider the following steps:

Offer Stage

  • You need to ensure that you make an attractive offer that matches the market rate and meets the expectations of the candidate.
  • Prepare a written offer letter that outlines the key terms and conditions of employment, such as the job title, salary, benefits, start date, probation period, notice period, confidentiality clause, etc. In accordance with the guidelines set forth by Hong Kong’s employment law, it’s important to ensure that the contract encompasses all the necessary components as required. You can refer to the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance for the detailed list of contents that must be included in an employment contract.
  • Subsequently, send the offer letter to the candidate and request them to review, sign, and return it within a stipulated time frame. During this phase, be prepared to engage in negotiations if the candidate presents any counter-offers or special requests that need careful consideration.


  • Conduct background checks: You need to conduct background checks on the candidate before they start working for you. Background checks may include criminal records checks, academic qualifications checks, visa status checks, etc. You need to obtain the consent of the candidate before conducting any background checks.
  • After the offer letter has been signed it is time to prepare a formal employment contract. This should specifie the detailed terms and conditions of employment in accordance with the Employment Ordinance. You need to send the employment contract to the candidate before they start working for you and ask them to sign it.


  • You need to onboard the new hire by providing them with a comprehensive orientation program. This covers topics such as; company history, vision, mission, values, policies, procedures, culture, expectations, goals, etc.
  • Provide them with necessary training and feedback with consisent support to help them perform well in their role.
  • Onboard you new hire effectively by providing them with a positive and engaging experience. This will help your new team member integrate into your company and ensure a success story !


Hiring employees in Hong Kong can be a rewarding but challenging process that requires careful planning and execution. By following these steps and best practices, you can improve your hiring process. If you need efficient and knowledgeable recruiting then get in touch with HKHR Recruitment by contacting Sarah@HKHR.Asia .


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