Managing Director of Hays in Asia.
Most Hongkongers won’t see high salary increases in 2016, so bridge the gap in expectations with other benefits
The findings of the most recent Hays Asia Salary Guide indicate that there will be some friction between employer and employee expectations in the year ahead, so candidates should be informed before pay-rise negotiations.
The majority of employers surveyed intend to increase salaries by only 3 to 6 per cent. Only 17 per cent of employers will award more than 6 per cent, but 42 per cent of employees are expecting more.
Employers are expecting to be challenged this year by uncertain economic conditions. Of those surveyed, 43 per cent expect their local economy to weaken, which is 25 per cent more than last year. In 2015, 72 per cent of employers expected an increase in their business activity, whereas this year, only 60 per cent are forecasting an increase.
This is not ideal for those who were expecting an above-average increase, and this might cause many to consider a new job. Most Hongkongers who are looking to move jobs are seeking a better salary and benefits package.
Before considering a move, talk to your employer about current market rates. With tighter budgets, this could present a challenge, but ask about any other benefits they can offer to bridge the gap in your salary expectations. According to the survey, work-life balance is the main reason employees stay with an employer in Hong Kong.
Being aware that employers plan only modest salary increases this year means you can have informed and realistic discussions with your employer.
To make the best of this, you should do your research before pitching for a higher salary and consider other benefits or professional-development opportunities that will pay off when the salary climate is more favourable.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Curb expectations.