Hong Kong SAR’s Life Sciences Industry is facing the future

Innovation and technological Confidence.

Hong Kong’s healthcare sector is taking innovation seriously, and just six per cent of employees said they would not describe their organisation as future-ready, by some distance the lowest proportion in Asia do so.

As the uncertainty of the last two years dissipates, Hong Kong’s SAR life sciences industry is looking to the future. According to the Hays Changing Face of Life Sciences, this is being driven by a quest for innovation, with industry leaders investing in talent who are at the forefront of technological shifts that assist in better understanding patients and their communities.

The Hays Changing Face of Life Sciences report is the result of a survey conducted with 168 working professionals from five key Asian markets and nine in-depth interviews with industry leaders. The report provides an enlightening insight into the current state of the industry, revealing what can be expected in the years to come in this ascendent industry.

Hong Kong’s healthcare sector is taking innovation seriously, and just six per cent of employees said they would not describe their organisation as future-ready, by some distance the lowest proportion in Asia do so. However, as 50 per cent were unsure of their company’s readiness, improvements can be made, with employees suggesting the hiring of experienced talent, openness to change and product innovation as remedies (69, 63 and 63 per cent respectively).

“As our industry leaders have intimated, whilst being prepared for future eventualities is essential, the speed of technological innovation means that it is pragmatic to focus key guiding principles and investment in 12-to-18-month cycles, leaving organisations agile to change,” says Sue Wei, Managing Director at Hays Hong Kong SAR.

“It is also important to be bold in that agility, being prepared to halt projects and move on should environmental shifts be detected. Furthermore, leaders must invest in talent that can drive a change management mindset and can guide others along that journey.” With such an emphasis on change, it is critical for organisations to recruit talent with the necessary abilities, and though no employees surveyed felt that they lacked the skills required to face the challenges of the current market, 78 per cent felt that their soft skills could be improved and 56 per cent said that their hard skills could be augmented.

“It is interesting that, while more employees believed that they could improve their soft skills, the area in which they wish to improve most is digital skills, though change management was the second most chosen response. To satisfy these requirements, employers are providing e-learning opportunities, with leadership, hard skills and digital the most common,” says Sue.

“However, some leaders have suggested that talent must take more responsibility for their own upskilling journey, seeking out opportunities to develop themselves rather than putting the onus upon their employers, with similar advice being given for approaches to career development.”

Hong Kong’s employees are the most ‘aware’ in Asia of their organisation’s technological journey (46 per cent), and at 29 per cent they are only behind Malaysia (33 per cent) of those who are ‘very aware’. Furthermore, at a total of 88 per cent, they rank top in Asia of talent who feel that this journey is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’.

“Technological confidence is another area in which Hong Kong’s employees rank highest in the region, with 83 per cent believing that their organisation’s tech journey is sufficiently placed to realise its goals in the foreseeable future,” says Sue. “In addition to this, at a combined 71 per cent, they are amongst Asia’s most confident in their company’s environment, social and corporate governance journey being sufficiently placed to realise its goals, with only Singapore’s employees more assured (76 per cent). Such confidence is surely a boon to companies and leaders as they prepare for a more technological – and greener – future.”

What was once seen as a future dream has now become a reality in the proliferation of flexible working conditions. More companies are required to not only permit remote working – with 65 per cent doing so – but also provide the necessary support, and 54 per cent of employees say that they have the same technology required to perform as they would in their office, such as online meeting software (77 per cent) and cloud-based storage and collaboration platforms (65 per cent).

“Though somewhat forced upon them by the pandemic, companies have become more open to flexible working options, and employees whom we surveyed have suggested that remote working and flexible hours are the most important, with the former especially so for jobseekers. However, with almost half of employees saying that they now work longer hours and that wellness programmes are of increasing importance, it is vital that employers heed these warning signs,” concludes Sue.

“Because sector leaders have repeatedly intimated that their employees are the key to sparking the innovation required for future readiness in this new digital age, and as such, safeguarding their mental health must be a priority.”

An overview of other key insights that have been observed in Hong Kong SAR’s life sciences industry can be viewed below:

  • Being recognised and rewarded for their contributions is important to 75 per cent of Hong Kong’s talent, though only 56 per cent experience it in their current position.
  • With communication increasingly online, candidates seeking new roles are recommended to improve skills in online presentation, organising virtual symposiums and uncovering innovative development programs.
  • Employers should encourage remote workers to work efficiently rather than long to ensure that work-life balance is preserved. Support and training in this area is advised.
  • Ninety-four per cent of employees feel that purpose or meaning are either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in motivating their performance.



Leave a Comment

Related posts