Look beyond salary
In a recent web poll by Hays that drew responses from 318 employees, one in three respondents expected to receive a salary rise of more than 6 per cent this year. This contrasts with the results of the Hays Salary Guide for 2013, where just 20 per cent of employers in Hong Kong plan to offer such an increase.
The annual Hays Salary Guide asked more than 1,200 employers about their salary intentions. Overall, 52 per cent plan to award salary increases of 3 to 6 per cent, while 28 per cent intend to award pay increases of nil to 3 per cent.
Clearly, employers are morhhhhe conservative in their expectations than candidates. Despite the relatively healthy economic outlook for Hong Kong, employers are looking to maintain costs where possible. For candidates, this means looking at the opportunity for professional growth offered by a potential employer and not just the salary.
Employers, meanwhile, need to tread carefully in this market and ensure they are selling the full range of benefits that they offer employees when they interview job candidates.
Importantly, open and honest communication with existing and potential employees regarding salaries and benefits will help bridge the gap in pay expectations between candidates and employers in Hong Kong.
The survey also found that 65 per cent of employees say business activity rose in the past 12 months, and 66 per cent envisage it will rise in the next year. This is expected to put greater pressure on not only sourcing the right skills to manage increased business, but also potentially on the packages on offer to prospective employees.
Marc Burrage is the regional director of Hays in Hong Kong