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IT pros hiring heats up in Hong Kong (Part 2)

Sheila Lam | March 6, 2012
Staff turnover is inevitable in 2012.

Staff turnover is inevitable in 2012. IT executives who would like to retain talent need to better understand their team's expectations. As well as studying hiring trends among IT executives, the Computerworld Hong Kong IT Skills and Hiring Trends Survey 2012 conducted this January also gauged salary expectations and job status among 230 local IT professionals.

The survey indicated most IT professionals appear content with their positions, as about 25% surveyed indicated they have no plans to change jobs (Figure 5). Meanwhile, 61% of the respondents indicated they are open to opportunities and 14% are actively looking for new jobs.

With 65% of the surveyed IT executives indicating they plan to hire within the year, it's likely IT professionals actively looking for a new job will land one. IT executives seeking to retain their winning teams should prepare for a pay rise. The survey found 85% of the surveyed IT professionals are expecting an increase in salary, with 59% anticipating a raise of over 5%.

Only 14% are not expecting changes in their salary, with about 1% expecting a pay cut (Figure 6).

These findings dovetail with Hudson's latest report which surveyed 500 Hong Kong executives across all industries. The report indicated 74% of local executives used monetary incentives as the most effective tool to motivate performance--compared to Singapore (62%) and China (53%). The use of monetary incentives in Hong Kong dwarfs other initiatives like employee recognition program (44%), flexible working hours (33%) or education/training incentives (32%).

Commenting on salary trends, Candy Ho, consultant of IT&T at Hudson, noted that increases of up to 40% during job changes in the banking sector aren't uncommon.

While a high base salary and impressive bonus are attractive for junior IT roles, she said the differences of remuneration packages between finance and general commercial sectors are much closer among executive roles. "The more business functions the role is required, the more competitive the package will be," she added.

Salary isn't all

Pay-packets are important, but what other criteria drive employees to jump ship? Another interesting finding from the survey is that the quality of the employee's team is high on the priority list.

When IT professionals were asked to rate the importance of different criteria while considering a new offer, base salary remains the top, scoring 3.25 out of 4 (Figure 7). But the second highest rating criterion is the quality of senior management team and colleagues, scoring 3.16. IT professionals found the team and leaders that they are working with more important than the potential for career development (3.12) and benefits or performance incentives (3.09).

At the other end of spectrum, the least critical factors appear to be measures that management used to raise job interest. The least important criteria include opportunity to travel (1.97) and job rotation opportunities (2.09).


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