Other talent recruitment measures
It is estimated that Hong Kong workforce has shrank by about 140,000 in the past two years. Apart from retaining and developing local people, the government is proactively recruiting globally. The following are some measures being pursued :
- The government is streamlining the “General Employment Policy” and the “Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals”. When making applications for talent admission to Hong Kong, employers no longer have to provide proof to substantiate difficulties in local recruitment (a) for vacancies falling under the 13 professions with shortage of local supply as listed in the Talent List and (b) for vacancies with annual salary of HK$2 million or above. The Talent List to reflect the latest shortage situation in various professions will be provided by the government by the first quarter of 2023.
- The annual quota under the “Quality Migrant Admission Scheme” is suspended for two years. At the same time, the approval process of the Scheme is being improved to attract more world-class talents to Hong Kong.
- Under the current “Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates”  , non-local students who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time and locally-accredited programme in Hong Kong may apply to stay/return and work in Hong Kong. The limit of stay has been extended from one year to two years. The scheme is expanded to include persons who have obtained an undergraduate or higher qualification in a full-time programme offered by a higher education institution in the Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) jointly established by universities of the Mainland and Hong Kong, and allows those GBA campus graduates to apply to stay in Hong Kong for two years.
Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES)
OASES is led by the Financial Secretary with a mission to attract representative and high-potential strategic enterprises from around the globe. The office will:
- draw up a list of target enterprises to reach out to and carry out negotiations with the enterprises;
- formulate attractive special facilitation measures covering aspects such as land, tax and financing that are applicable exclusively to target enterprises, and provide them with tailor-made plans to facilitate the setting up of their operations in Hong Kong; and
- provide the employees of these target enterprises with one-stop facilitation services in areas such as visa application and education arrangement for their children.
It is commonly believed that the target industries may include life and health technology, artificial intelligence, data science, financial technology, advanced manufacturing, new materials and new-energy technology. 
When the talent attraction measures are being implemented, employers will have to take extra care of employment issues, such as compensation difference, fair treatment, diversity and staff morale.
The employer may have to plan ahead of the compensation policy to achieve at least two objectives – to offer an attractive package to the non-Hong Kong candidate and to avoid the local staff members being undermined, especially when the compensation or fringe benefits vary for these two groups of employees of the same rank. It is not uncommon for employer to give incentives to executives in form of share options or share-based rights which can be very valuable if the business succeeds. If the grants are not made on a fair manner to non-Hong Kong and local executives, sour feelings may arise. Differences in compensation may also take the form of housing allowance, education for the new joiner’s children, and travelling allows for home visiting each year, which are not usually enjoyed by local employees. In a nutshell, the employer has to manage differences in compensation packages, incentives and benefits in a discreet and justified way.
Fair treatment may be another tricky employment issue. Fair treatment does not always mean equal treatment. When an employee requires special support in the interim period or even the long run, the employer may select to provide such support (which is not otherwise available to other employees) in order to avail fair development opportunities for all staff members. One common example is the administrative assistance provided to a non-Hong Kong executive to settle in or even to take care of his/her daily living. The employer may find it desirable to set a policy on the extent and time period such support will be provided, in order to prevent impressions of unfairness or excessive favouritism.
Before the employer brings in a new employee from outside Hong Kong, it has to ensure that its diversity and anti-discrimination policies are well understood by its whole staff and the relevant measures will be implemented rigorously. Discrimination is not necessarily limited to the aspects prohibited by law. It can be extended to situations such as the newly joined executive not giving local staff the respect they deserve, or the local employees cold-shouldering the new non-Hong Kong manager.
To maintain morale, it may be necessary for the employer to explain why non-Hong Kong talents are required, how they may fit in the organization and how the authority and work will be shared with the existing staff members. It is also important to continue communicating and building trust with the local employees, giving them recognition, and offering growth opportunities even when non-Hong Kong executives have joined.