Conservative Salary Growth Outlook for Singapore

Employees in Singapore will receive conservative salary increases this year, according to the 2014 Hays Salary Guide.


The report found that in Singapore more than one in two employers (53 per cent) increased salaries between 3 and 6 per cent, and only 14 per cent offered increases of 6 to 10 per cent. Just 5 per cent of employers gave increases above 10 per cent.


These findings are slightly more conservative than those for Asia overall, where 22 per cent of employers offered increases between 6 and 10 per cent, and a further 7 per cent increased above that level. 38 per cent increased salaries between 3 and 6 per cent.


Looking ahead, employers in Singapore expect to award similar increases this year. 56 per cent intend to increase salaries between 3 and 6 per cent. 17 per cent will increase salaries above this level, but 27 per cent expect to give an increase of less than 3 per cent or no pay increase at all.


In Singapore's accountancy and finance sector, competition to attract the top talent remains high with tax, compliance and management consulting candidates sought after. Firms are increasingly using less tangible benefits to attract candidates, such as long term career prospects, more varied client exposure or more rapid promotions. Salaries are likely to remain at a consistent level this year and significant increases to base remuneration are unlikely.


In comparison, across Asia 40 per cent of employers intend to increase salaries between 3 and 6 per cent and 29 per cent will offer increases above 6 per cent. So while more employers will offer increases at the higher level, 31 per cent also expect to give an increase of less than 3 per cent or no pay increase at all.


“Cost control has lowered the ceiling for salary increases in many organisations across Asia,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Singapore & Malaysia. “Employers are more focused on the bottom line.


“Certainly salaries remain competitive, and for the top talent many employers offer higher packages to entice candidates, proving that money still talks. But in general salaries are starting to become more conservative than they once were.


“In an attempt to manage retention, we have seen an increase in the number of organisations offering benefits. 85 per cent of organisations now offer their staff benefits, which is up from 79 per cent last year. And according to our survey, 53 per cent of employers intend to award a bonus to more than 50 per cent of staff.


In other positive news, in the next 12 months 71 per cent of employers expect business activity to increase and 43 per cent expect their permanent staff levels to increase. That’s strong evidence in support of a local economy that is both confident and providing jobs.


“This means that those candidates with in-demand skills and realistic salary expectations can be confident that this year will provide them with the opportunity to secure a challenging career move and a salary increase,” notes Mead.


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