- 64 per cent of employers in Hong Kong gave a salary increase of 3 to 6 per cent last year;
- Looking ahead, 63 per cent of employers in Hong Kong will increase salaries by 3 to 6 per cent in their next review, and 16 per cent will offer increases above that level;
- Bonuses based on performance are used to reward top talent.
Steady hiring demand will continue in Hong Kong across most sectors and industries this year, but candidates should not expect salaries that reflect this level of demand, warns recruiting experts Hays.
According to the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide, released today, just 16 per cent of employees in Hong Kong can expect a salary increase of 6 per cent or more.
The Hays Salary Guide includes salary and recruiting trends for over 1,200 roles in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. It is based on a survey of 2,361 employers, representing over four million (4,017,026) employees.
“Our Guide shows that hiring expectations remain steady across Asia, despite the talent shortage,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia. “Employers in all five of our surveyed countries are seeing a gap – some more significant than others – between the skills that they are looking for and the skills available in the local labour market.
“Despite this, candidates should not expect large salary increases that reflect this level of demand. Instead employers are offering extra benefits to help secure their preferred candidate. Performance-related bonuses are also used to reward top performers.
“For candidates, there are great opportunities presented by the current market. Savvy job seekers are taking advantage of Asia’s tight talent market to secure roles offering career progression, which long-term will ultimately lead to a higher salary,” she said.
The Hays Salary Guide shows that in Hong Kong the majority of employers (64 per cent) increased salaries between three and six per cent in their last review. Just 13 per cent increased between six and 10 per cent, while a further six per cent gave increases above 10 per cent. At the other end of the scale, 17 per cent gave increases of less than three per cent or no increases at all.
There will be little change to the extent of salary increases in the year ahead, with 63 per cent expecting to increase between three and six per cent in their next review and a further 16 per cent expecting to increase by six per cent or more.
In comparison, China remains the standout for salary increases in the region, as it was last year. One in two (50 per cent) employers increased salaries in their last review by between six and 10 per cent, and a further 16 per cent increased above that level. Looking ahead, employers are even more generous. Again 50 per cent intend to increase salaries by six to 10 per cent, while a significant 20 per cent will increase by more than 10 per cent.
Malaysia also saw some impressive increases, with 31 per cent of employers increasing salaries in their last review by six to 10 per cent. A further nine per cent gave increases above 10 per cent. A slightly higher percentage of Malaysia’s employers will increase salaries by this extent this year; 33 per cent will increase from six to 10 per cent, while 10 per cent will increase above that level.
The situation in Singapore is similar to Hong Kong, where 59 per cent of employers increased salaries in their last review by three to six per cent, and 54 per cent will do so in their next review.
Employers in Japan continue to show restraint when it comes to salary increases. In their last review the majority of employers (56 per cent) gave increases of less than three per cent, while 59 per cent expect to increase salaries by less than three per cent when they next review.
The majority of employers (83 per cent) continue to give their staff benefits. Popular benefits in Hong Kong are health (62 per cent), life assurance (48 per cent) and pension (45 per cent).
Bonuses remain a favoured method of rewarding staff; this year 51 per cent of employers across Asia said they will award bonuses to more than 50 per cent of their staff. In the majority of cases these bonuses are related to employee performance (80 per cent) and employer performance (73 per cent). This shows that rather than give across-the-board salary increases, employers are using bonuses based on performance to reward their top talent. Just 11 per cent of employers said bonuses are guaranteed.
In terms of the value of these bonuses, 44 per cent of employers said they will award between 11 and 50 per cent of staff salary as a bonus. 34 per cent said bonuses will equate to less than 10 per cent of staff salary.
Other key findings
In other key findings, the Hays Asia Salary Guide shows that 72 per cent of employers expect their levels of business activity to increase in the year ahead, 48 per cent expect permanent headcount to rise, and almost one half (45 per cent) said the skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department.
Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting www.hays.com.hk/salary-guide, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.
Hays is located in Hong Kong at Unit 5803-7, The Centre, 99 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong. Phone +852 9879 2311 or email Dean.Stallard@hays.com.hk
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people