Hiring expectations in Hong Kong have reached a new high this quarter, said recruitment service provider Hudson who released a Q2 survey report Thursday.

In this new survey of nearly 550 executives across key business sectors, all interviewed during March 2011, 69 percent plan to increase hiring in Q2 of 2011, up from 66 percent the previous quarter, said Hudson.

This is a new record, meaning that hiring expectations in Hong Kong remain at their highest level since The Hudson Report was launched in Q4 1998, the firm noted. "Even after a long period of growth, hiring expectations are still rising in Hong Kong and this quarter sets another record. Strong demand for talented candidates means that many employers see finding and retaining the right staff as critical challenges," said James Carss, executive general manager, Hong Kong, Hudson.

According to the survey results, 79 percent of the respondents from the IT&T sector plan to hire more people in Q2. Across industries, 18 percent of respondents indicated they are set to add more people to take up IT&T roles in their organizations in the next six months, Hudson added.

Respondents who said they were finding it more difficult to recruit top talent were also asked about the reasons for these problems.

Overall, a shortage of the required skills is regarded as a cause of recruitment difficulties by 69 percent of respondents, a much higher proportion than for any other reason, said Hudson, adding that the second most significant factor is achieving the right cultural fit. This is mentioned by 41 percent of respondents, substantially more than for either China or Singapore. Many Hong Kong employers in a wide range of industries are keen to recruit staff with experience in a multi-cultural environment, Hudson noted.