The unemployment rate in Hong Kong has hit a 16-year low at 3.1 per cent. With a huge demand for talent, human resources managers say they end up hiring unqualified graduates.
A survey by human resources website CTgoodjobs says employers think fresh graduates lack communication skills and behave badly at interviews. But the companies have to put up with this behaviour because they need workers.
Employers say new graduates do not take job interviews seriously because they think there will always be other chances.
"There are candidates who show up late for job interviews, fail to show up or request to have the interview postponed because they're not free on the day," says Alison Chang, a veteran headhunter in the banking and finance field. "They have no respect for the job."
Despite this, she says: "a boss in retail told me he had to employ a candidate who has switched seven jobs in the past three years because he is desperate. Another boss [said] his top salesman is always late to work. When [asked] about it, the man said the company could fire him if they wanted to; he'll find another job easily anyway."
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups supervisor Gary Tang Leung-shun says young people lack a sense of urgency to get a job because families have become wealthier. "Parents should be aware that overprotecting their children will not do them any good, as they need to be part of society someday," he says.