Mike Game, chief executive officer of Hudson Asia
HONG KONG, 22 JANUARY 2009 Salary increases for new managerial staff are falling sharply across all industries in four key Asian markets, though new managers in China are expected to receive the highest pay rise, said recruitment agency Hudson.
Hudson, the international recruitment agency, yesterday released findings of its quarterly Hudson Report for the first quarter of 2009 for Asia. The survey revealed the dynamism of employers expectations in staffing levels, which provides an indication of their optimism in the growth of their organisation and their industry as a whole.
The Hudson Report surveys the expectations of nearly 3,000 key employment decision-makers from multinational organisations of all sizes in major industry sectors. The four areas surveyed were China (Beijing and Shanghai), Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Gloomy hiring expectations
Mike Game, chief executive officer of Hudson Asia, said: Hiring expectations show a steep decline in all the countries surveyed this quarter. This is having the effect of reducing salary increases for new staff and year-end bonuses. As in the fourth quarter of last year, China reports the highest hiring expectations and Hong Kong the lowest.
Although China still has the highest expectations, with 34 per cent of respondents forecasting headcount growth, there has been a sharp fall since the fourth quarter of last year, when 44 per cent of respondents said they would increase hiring.
In Hong Kong, the proportion of respondents saying they will increase staffing levels has fallen sharply, from 32 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year to 18 per cent this quarter.
Overall, 31 per cent of respondents in Japan plan to hire more staff, compared with 43 per cent the previous quarter. The media, public relations and advertising industry is the only sector to report an increase in hiring expectations, from 29 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year to 44 per cent this quarter.
Since the fourth quarter of last year, the proportion of respondents in Singapore forecasting headcount growth has fallen from 37 per cent to 23 per cent this quarter, while the proportion expecting to reduce staff levels has risen from four per cent to 12 per cent.
Year-end bonus shrinks
Salary increases for new managerial staff are falling sharply in all four markets, though respondents in China expect to pay the highest pay rise.
Year-end bonus payments also show a steep decline in all markets, notably in sectors such as IT&T, and banking and financial services, where bonuses have been very high in recent years;
In all the markets surveyed, fewer than 50 per cent of respondents think their companys performance will be excellent or good in 2009.
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