HR Weekly Recap: Higher salary, lower bonuses to come for Singapore workers
Global – Employees in Singapore can expect to receive salary increments this year. However, these come with a decrease in bonuses.
With a majority (64%) of employers expecting to see an increase in business activities, half of local employers intend to increase their employee’s salaries by between 3% to 6%, and a further 23% are willing to offer a raise of over 6%, the 2012 Hays Salary Guide revealed. This is an increase from the 44% and 21% rise respectively from employers who held the same intentions last year.
However, the percentage of employers intending to award bonuses to their staff also declined significantly to only 54% - down 65% from last year. This could be the reason for the decline in the level of confidence finance professionals in the country have about their bonus packages this year, despite receiving salary increments last year.
In fact, nine in 10 local finance professionals received salary increments last year, and another 40% are expecting to receive an increase in the next six months, a survey by eFinancialCareers found.
But while eight in 10 local financial professionals are looking forward to receiving a bonus, 33% believe they will receive less than they did last year, while 20% expect the amount to remain the same. Over the next three years, even more respondents (46%) said they expect to see a decrease in their bonuses.
Moving to Hong Kong, salaries are expected to remain stable in the banking and finance industry, as a survey by Links Recruitment predicts a market recovery this year with an increase in hiring activities in the second half of 2012.
“Most internationally renowned banks are likely to focus on cutting costs, rather than hiring new personnel through the beginning of 2012, although optimism is high that companies will start to hire strategically later in that year,” Swapna Reddy, division manager for Link Recruitment’s banking and financial services and accounting and finance division, said.
John Eyres, managing director of Links Recruitment, said Hong Kong will continue to be plagued by challenges in the first half of this year, due to the bearish economic climate in Europe. Nevertheless, it will benefit from the growth in China’s middle class consumer and corporate sectors.
“Salaries will remain flat for the year, with companies required to keep costs under control, and with a large candidate pool to choose from,” he said.
Many employees, on the other hand, seem to have found a solution to tackling the pay issue. According to an international poll by Ipsos, half of all employees across the world are willing to relocate for better salaries and benefits.
Across 24 countries, half the population of employees willing to take up an assignment adds to a significant number, Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs, highlighted. “When you consider the increasing globalisation of our world and how portfolios now include multiple countries, and employers are looking at international experience as an asset, it is not surprising that you get so many people that are interested.”
Among respondents who were willing to relocate for better opportunities, 40% said they were most motivated by a higher salary, followed by “better living conditions”, a “good career move”, “adventure” and “time for change”.
On a lighter note, some employees in US and Canada have been spotted trying to claim items that should have been on their credit card bills, like speeding tickets and family vacations. Others have gone further with attempts to expense things like personal gadgets and social celebrations that were not business-related, a Robert Half Management Resource survey revealed.
“While these examples may seem incredible and in some cases humorous, they highlight a serious matter which can negatively impact a company’s bottom line,” Paul McDonald, a senior executive director at Robert Half Management Resources, warned.
Finally, wrapping up with internal news, Lighthouse Independent Media has appointed Rebecca Lewis as editor of Human Resources magazine in Singapore. Reporting to Tony Kelly, the company’s regional editorial director, she will be responsible for the magazine’s print and online growth metrics.
“I am extremely excited about my new role on Human Resources,” Lewis said. “The opportunity to breathe new life into an already successful and well-established product is thrilling and I look forward to helping shape conversation and ideas among Singapore’s to human resources professionals.”
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