Hiring demand in Singapore to stay steady but salaries will lag: Hays survey

SINGAPORE - Steady hiring demand will continue in Singapore across most sectors this year, but employees should not expect salaries that reflect this level of demand, said recruitment firm Hays in a report out Tuesday.

Last year, 59 per cent of firms here gave their staff a salary increase of 3 to 6 per cent, according to Hays' last review.

This year, 54 per cent of firms will give staff a similar raise, according to the Hays Salary Guide which polled 2,361 employers in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan, representing over 4 million employees.

Last year, 8 per cent of firms raised salaries between 6 and 10 per cent, while 5 per cent gave their staff a raise of more than 10 per cent.

This year, 13 per cent of firms polled planned to raise salaries beyond 6 per cent.

"Hiring expectations remain steady across Asia, despite the talent shortage," said Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.

"Employers in all five of our surveyed countries are seeing a gap between the skills that they are looking for and the skills available in the local labour market."

But Ms Wright warned that candidates "should not expect large salary increases" that mirror the level of demand.

Rather, employers are using extra benefits to help secure their talent, and performance-related bonuses are used to reward top performers, said Ms Wright.