Salary Growth in Hong Kong Remains Strong

The majority of employers in Hong Kong increased salaries last year and intend to do the same when they next review highlighting the country has weathered the global economic storm, according to the 2013 Hays Asia Salary Guide which reveals salary and recruiting trends across Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.


The Salary Guide found 48 percent of employers in Hong Kong increased salaries last year between 3 and 6 percent. A further 13 percent raised salaries above 6 percent, and 4 percent gave increases of more than 10 percent.


Increases of less than three percent were given by 21 percent of employers, while the final 14 percent gave no increase at all.


Looking ahead, 52 percent of employers in Hong Kong intend to increase salaries between 3 and 6 percent when they next review. A further 17 percent will increase above 6 percent, while 3 percent of employers will raise salaries by more than 10 percent at their next review. Meanwhile 19 percent of employers intend to increase salaries by less than 3 percent and 9 percent will offer no increases.


“While these figures are slightly down from the previous year, we are still seeing strong salary growth in Hong Kong despite difficult economic conditions in other parts of the world,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.


Meanwhile, almost three quarters of employers across Asia, or 72 percent, believe the economy is likely to remain stable or strengthen. Sixty-five percent of employers in Asia also say their business activity increased in the past 12 months and 66 per cent envisage it will increase in the next year. TWenty-six percent indicated business activity would remain the same in the next 12 months while 8 per cent said they expected a decrease.


“This is expected to put greater pressure, on not only sourcing the right skills to manage increased business but also potentially the package on offer to prospective employees,” says Marc. “Our Salary Guide revealed 93 percent of employers believe skills shortages will hamper their business operations.”


“More than half of employers (52 percent) also tell us they have used a flexible approach to staffing over the past year, either temporary or contract employees or the employment of part-time staff – in fact almost a quarter (24 percent) of respondents say they use temporary or contract staff on an ongoing basis.”


The retail and IT and telecommunications sectors were the stand out performers for accountancy and finance recruitment in Hong Kong over the past year. Driving this trend in part was the removal of travel restrictions for Chinese tourists, which led to a number of new high end luxury retail businesses establishing new stores.


Activity in Hong Kong’s financial job market in 2012 was sporadic, with some sectors experiencing a down cycle while others grew. Growth was perhaps most obvious for traditional products, which banks returned to in order to grow lifeline revenue streams. As a result, we saw strong and steady demand across the commercial banking space and a high volume of new relationship and product vacancies.


As was the case last year, Hays has seen an increase in the use of temporary and contract staff and there are an increasing number of roles for bilingual Personal and Executive Assistants, particularly those with trading floor experience.

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