Employees likely to get slight pay rises this year

-- ST ILLUSTRATION: BONG FORTIN
-- ST ILLUSTRATION: BONG FORTIN

Those with in-demand skills can expect better opportunities, higher wages

Employees can look forward to slight pay rises this year as firms continue to adopt a conservative approach, say new surveys out yesterday.

One from recruiter Hays found that 56 per cent of Singapore employers will raise salaries by 3 per cent to 6 per cent this year, similar to the 53 per cent figure in the same poll last year.

A raise of above 6 per cent will be given out by 17 per cent of employers, slightly more than the 14 per cent who gave pay rises of between 6 per cent and 10 per cent last year.

The findings came from 2,600 employers polled and job placements made by Hays across Asia, including Singapore and China.

Mr Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia, said: "Cost control has lowered the ceiling for salary increases in many organisations across Asia. Employers are more focused on the bottom line."

Despite the dismal findings on pay rises, Hays had some positive news for job seekers.

Mr Mead said that 71 per cent of employers expect more business and 43 per cent expect permanent staff levels to rise over the next 12 months.

"This means that those candidates with in-demand skills and realistic salary expectations can be confident that this year will provide them with the opportunity to secure a challenging career move and a salary increase," he added.

A survey by international recruiter Robert Walters reflected similar sentiments.

It found that employees who moved to a new job last year picked up an average raise of 15 per cent to 20 per cent, a level that is likely to be met this year as well.

More hiring of Singaporeans is also expected, in line with the Fair Consideration Framework starting in August.

This is likely to push salary levels up in permanent and contract recruitment.

Mr Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Singapore, said: "With the increasing competition for top Singaporean talent, firms are recognising the importance of developing existing employees with transferable skill sets.

"This allows for more promotion opportunities from within and rewards employees with an expanded scope of responsibilities."

rachaelb@sph.com.sg

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