Mid-Year Job Market Report: Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing

Hong Kong 2020 Mid-Year Job Market Update: Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing

Links International’s Mid-Year Job Market Analysis

Hong Kong has recently imposed its strictest social distancing measures yet, plunging businesses into a troubling period of time. The uncertainty brought about by the third-wave will have business leaders hesitant about what the future holds. As part of Links International’s commitment to assist businesses in finding the right candidate, we will be sharing our mid-year analysis of HK’s job functions.

Mid-Year Job Market Report 2020:
Information Technology (IT)
Administration & Human Resources
Banking, Finance & Accounting
Sales & Marketing
Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing

Demand for Supply Chain Professionals Weakens for the First Half of 2020 as Global Supply Chains Disrupted

The US/China trade war coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted global supply chains. Tensions between Hong Kong’s two largest trading partners, China and the US, have been building and it is uncertain whether or not the situation between the two world superpowers will improve anytime soon.

Demand for Sourcing and Supply Chain positions in Hong Kong has been negatively impacted by the trade war while the pandemic has closed off many major markets causing further headaches. Inventory Controllers, Logistics Supervisors, Purchasers, Supply Chain Specialists, and traditional Sourcing & Merchandising roles have all suffered.

Although the first half of 2020 has been a rough ride for HK Supply Chain professionals, the future outlook is still encouraging, in part thanks to a digital transformation and promising strategies like the Belt and Road Initiative.     

Transition to a Digital Process

Traditional brick and mortar stores that have not adopted an electronic retail model are struggling. The pandemic has only exposed and accelerated the transition to digitisation. With eCommerce showing its resilience during the pandemic, the importance of companies taking a digital transformation will grow increasingly important.

Optimising the whole supply chain process through digital solutions will be vital for businesses looking to run more efficiently. Technology will allow companies to adjust their products and pricing based on real-time supply and demand information. A report by PwC stated that “a highly digitized supply chains and operations can expect efficiency gains of 4.1 percent annually, while boosting revenue by 2.9 percent a year”. The digital transition will likely fuel the need for senior supply chain managers to overlook the restructuring process of supply chains.

Further Connectivity Through Global Initiatives

Globalisation has made countries around the world more interconnected, allowing the movement of supply chains all over the world for the best efficiency and cost-effectiveness. China’s introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative which will likely further link world economies.

Being a global logistics hub and shipping port, Hong Kong will continue playing an important role in the revival of the modern-day silk road. The city is in a strong position to benefit from global initiatives as it holds many advantages, including its free and open market, exceptional communications network, world-class logistics infrastructure, and strong understanding of China’s business operations and culture.

China’s return to GDP growth at 3.2% in Q2, will have global supply chains operating at a better capacity in the second half of 2020. We expect the demand for professionals in the Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing function to increase in the future as countries become more connected and Hong Kong plays a more important role on the global stage.

Hong Kong’s supply chain talent pool is deep with years of experience. Strategical and technical roles are still in demand due to the lack of talent in other developing countries. With places in South-East Asia like Vietnam and Indonesia progressing, talented people from Hong Kong will be needed to guide them.

Restructuring Your Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing Team!

The appearance of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising tensions between the US and China has inflicted a tough start to the year for the Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing function. Even though it has been a difficult period for the function, the future looks encouraging. The combination of digitalisation and global trading initiatives brings a very positive outlook for Hong Kong.

Businesses are likely to make sweeping changes to the structure of their supply chain operations in the coming years. For leaders needing to make the difficult choice of letting go of staff, they should use an outplacement service to protect their employer brand. Ensuring previous staff are connected to future opportunities will reflect well on your company and is a socially responsible approach if you need to part ways with employees. For more information about outplacement or Sourcing, Supply Chain & Manufacturing recruitment, contact us now!

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