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Nearly a third of bosses in Asia Pacific are expecting to reward their staff with a salary hike and a bonus of one to three months this year.

On average, a majority of companies will be increasing salaries by 5% to 10% this year, with the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector leading the pack with an expected hike of 20%, a survey by Bo Le Associates found. Within the same sector, 8.3% are also anticipated to roll out 12 months’ bonus to staff.

The survey, which collated the responses from heads of HR, HR directors, CEOs, COOs, country managers, and managing directors of global MNCs and local conglomerates with more than 5,000 employees, also found 50% are planning to increase headcount in 2013.

Half of the respondents said they will be beefing up staff strength by between 5% and 10%, while only 4% said they will be increasing employees by 30%.

However, a quarter of respondents admitted to placing a salary and hiring freeze this year, particularly those in the transportation and logistics sector.

The survey revealed leaders considered salary, perks and benefits, working environment and company culture and career and development opportunities to be the three most important aspects to being an employer of choice.

In regards to branding, more than half of respondents also said they take on a balanced approach, incorporating both internal and external initiatives to improve employees’ working environments and the company image.

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