In Focus
HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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3 in 10 Hong Kong employers won't give pay rises in 2017

Only 1 in 3 employees will receive up to 5% increase.

The majority of Hong Kong workers can look forward to pay rises in 2017, according to new research, which has also revealed that 74% of the employers are planning a pay rise in 2017.

According to a release from jobsDB, however, this is less than the 79% in 2016 and significantly lower than 91% in 2015.

However, the size of the pay rises varies significantly from company to company and sector to sector. Just over a third of employees will receive an increase of between 4.1-5%, while the average rise is predicted to be 3.7%, compared with 3.4% last year.

Among all companies surveyed, the overall average size of bonus provided in 2016 was 1.3 months of basic salary. The average bonus size is expected to remain the same in 2017.

Staff in the IT sector will see the highest average salary increase at 5.9%, with analyst programmers receiving 6.0% rises and programmers getting an 8.0% bump. This may reflect a shortage of relevant talent in HK, and employers may feel the pressure to retain these employees by increasing their salary. The sector is also expecting the biggest jump in bonuses, from 0.8 to 1.1 months.

Here's more from jobsDB:

The survey also explored hiring trends. Employers emphasized their interest in candidates’ relevant working experience (87%) rather than their qualification (52%). “This may indicate that in times of economic uncertainty, employers try to avoid hiring the wrong person and would prefer staff with hands-on experience and previous achievements. Experienced staff can also provide an immediate contribution to the company without too much training,” said Justin Yiu, General Manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong Limited.

“The preference for relevant working experience may also prompt employers to proactively search for passive candidates via online portals, or to find reliable candidates by referral. This could explain the big jump in the percentage of respondent companies that have used such recruitment methods – 54% in 2016 vs 39% in 2015,” said Yiu.

Among the candidates who turned down such job offers, some 83% of them did so because they had already accepted another offer. “This may indicate a mismatch in the talent market, with employers competing fiercely for the best candidates. A strong and positive employer brand is the key to attracting talent. Unfortunately, only 35% of HR teams use online channels for employer branding and 28% use offline channels. Local employers may need a serious rethink about their employer branding strategy, so as to establish an appealing employer image to attract and retain employees,” said Yiu. 

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