Only 1 in 3 Employees Say a Pay Rise Enough for Them to Stay With Current Employer

Almost 90% of employees surveyed by Hudson expect their base salary to increase at their next review with their manager, but only 1 in 3 said that a pay rise would be enough for them to stay with their organization for another 12 months.

Hudson surveyed almost 3,500 employers and employees across Asia to canvass their views on talent trends.

The research found that in a competitive hiring market – with 93% of Hong Kong employers either increasing headcount or replacing staff who leave – most professionals are keeping an eye on the market in case there are better opportunities elsewhere.

In Hong Kong, only 17% of employees surveyed said they were planning to stay in their current job, while 30% were actively seeking a new role and the remaining 53% were open to new opportunities.

“Professionals want to keep their options open, especially those who have niche skillsets or technical skills, as they know they are in high demand,” said Siddharth Suhas, Hudson Regional Director, Hong Kong.

“Professionals are managing their digital profiles and maintaining relationships with specialist recruiters so they can be alerted to good opportunities when they come up – even if they’re happy in their current organization or indeed even if they receive a pay rise.”

When asked what outcome they expect from their next pay review with their manager, 39% of employees expected their base salary to increase by 0-5%, 30% expected an increase of 6-10% and 20% expected an increase of more than 10%. Only 11% expected their pay to remain the same and 1% expected a decrease.

However, a pay rise alone does not guarantee that good employees will stay. When asked ‘If your salary increased, would you stay with your organization for another 12 months?’, 34% of employees said yes, while 52% were not sure and 14% said no.

Hiring challenges

When it comes to hiring new staff, the top three hiring challenges identified by employers were:

1. Finding candidates with the relevant technical skills for the roles

2. Finding candidates with the relevant soft skills for the roles

3. Finding candidates with the right cultural fit for your team

“Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who not only have the right technical skills and experience, but who have the right soft skills and cultural fit,” Suhas said.

He said employers were looking for candidates who can influence effectively, as well as characteristics such as adaptability and resilience, as organizations respond to changing markets and new digital technologies.

To ensure the employers can source the best candidates, they need access to pre-qualified talent pools of professionals in specialist job functions who already have established relationships with recruiters.

During the selection process, behavioral-based interview techniques and psychometric testing can provide clarity and confidence about a candidate’s behaviors, motivations and values.

“There’s definitely been a shift in the way organizations approach recruitment. In the past, clients demanded transactional recruitment: find someone who can do the job, as quickly as possible, and negotiate the pay. Now it’s much more about matching the right talent to the right organizations,” Suhas said.

“Our clients require us to be partners in the package negotiation process. It’s about engaging the candidate with the organization’s benefits and culture, to ensure a good ‘professional marriage’ for the employee and employer.”

Top three in-demand job functions

Accounting & Finance     

1. Financial Planning and Analysis

2. Corporate Finance

3. Financial Reporting

Financial Services

1. Legal counsel, M&A/PE/Brokerage

2. Equity research

3. Market risk

Human Resources

1. HR business partnering

2. Talent management

3. Compensation and benefits

Sales & Marketing

1. Brand marketing

2. Cross-border e-commerce

3. Digital campaign management

Source: Hudson research: Asia Talent Trends 2017


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