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A steady hiring demand in Malaysia and China across most industries this year is likely to fuel salary increases.
In fact, 70% of employees in China can expect wage increases in 2015, while 43% of staff in Malaysia can also expect salary bumps of 6% or more in their next review.
The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2015 found 33% of employers in Malaysia will increase salaries by 6% to 10% in the years ahead, while 10% will increase above that level. Just under half (47%) will increase salaries by between 3% and 6%. Only 9% of bosses will offer increases less than this, and just 1% will offer no pay rises at all.
China – as in 2014 – remains the standout country for salary increases this year, with 50% of bosses intending to increase salaries by 6% to 10%. A significant 20% of employers will also increase salaries by more than 10%.
Christine Wright, managing director of Hays Asia, said the salary guide – which surveyed employers in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan – shows that despite the talent shortage, hiring expectations remain steady.
“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,” Wright said.
“Salary increases in Malaysia are the second most generous of the countries surveyed. Interestingly, employers are also offering extra benefits to help secure their preferred candidate. Performance-related bonuses are also used to reward top performers.”
Despite the positive intentions in China and Malaysia, countries like Singapore and Hong Kong will see slightly more subdued pay rises in 2015.
In Singapore last year, 59% of employers increased salaries by 3% to 6%, while 8% gave staff an increase of between 6% and 10%. But in 2015, a slightly lower 54% will increase salaries by 3% to 6%. Just 13% will increase wages above 10% in the coming years.
Like Singapore, the majority of employers in Hong Kong (64%) increased salaries between 3% and 6% in their last review, with a similar number (63%) expecting to increase at this level in their next review.
In Japan, employers show restraint when it comes to salary increases. In their last review the majority of employers (56%) gave increases of less than 3%, while a further 15% gave no increase at all. The situation is similar for the year ahead.
For candidates, Wright said this creates great opportunities in 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.