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Robert Walters Salary Survey 2011

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2011-02-24 12:00 


Local Salary Levels on the Rise — Increased Hiring Activity Across FMCG, Retail, Banking and Financial Services Sectors

HONG KONG, Feb. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — The Robert Walters Hong Kong Salary Survey 2011 found that the FMCG, retail, banking and financial services sectors were responsible for some of the most significant increases in recruitment activity in the Hong Kong market.

“As the financial services and commerce sectors in Hong Kong recovered from the effects of the global economic crisis amid more buoyant market conditions, there was a marked increase in hiring activities, most notably within the fields of retail, HR, professional services, finance, as well as marketing and communications,” Matthew Bennett, Managing Director of Robert Walters Hong Kong said. “As the market continues to recover in 2011, we anticipate continued strong levels of hiring activity. We particularly expect hedge funds and asset management firms to continue expanding and increasingly focus on revenue opportunities in Asia.”

“The 2011 survey found that salary levels across many commerce sectors were steadily on the rise as the Asian economy recovered from the financial crisis and salary freezes were eased.  In many cases, both contract and permanent candidates were able to command moderate salary increases when moving positions, with salary levels for experienced candidates in the retail and FMCG industries rising by up to 15%.”

Compiled by a dedicated research division, the Survey is based on the analysis of permanent, interim and contract placements made across each of the Group’s geographies and recruitment disciplines during 2010. In its 12th year, the Survey is the most comprehensive review of global recruitment market conditions and salary levels available.

Some of the top regional findings from the Survey include:

Singapore: In the midst of abundant job opportunities, the Singapore market again experienced a war for talent and companies struggled to retain their top employees. While a number of professionals moved off-shore to take advantage of market growth in China and Hong Kong, the local talent pool remained intact. This was mainly due to an influx of professionals from Asia, Australia and Europe as well as Singapore nationals who returned to the country.

China: Recruitment activity increased in the first half of 2010 and peaked between April and June, before maintaining this momentum during the second half of the year. Salary rises are likely to be around 10% across various industries and roles in China, while top-tier candidates may be able to command increases of approximately 15-30%.

Malaysia: Hiring activity increased at the start of 2010 and maintained throughout the year. We anticipate a surge in recruitment activity due to a number of state and government-initiated projects being implemented. There is a large emphasis on tourism and infrastructure development as the country seeks to continue attracting foreign companies to establish hubs and especially shared services operations in Malaysia.

Thailand: Employers were generally positive in 2010 despite Thai political events and social unrest in the middle of the year, and top-tier candidates became more confident about moving jobs. As the demand for talent remains strong, we anticipate salaries to continue rising in 2011, with a shortage of high quality professionals who are fluent in the English language.

Sector-specific findings for Hong Kong include:

Accounting & Finance

  • Prevailing trend of Hong Kong candidates accepting positions in mainland China, due to the need for professionals with regional experience and the ability to work with local teams
  • Tax-related positions at managerial and director levels were in high demand, while candidates with tax expertise prevailed due to changes in tax regulations

Financial Services (Front Office)

  • As banks began to offer more attractive incentive-based packages amid strong hiring levels, candidates with good sales track records and product experience were more willing to change jobs
  • Within corporate and institutional banking, relationship managers with strong credit skills and client networks, experienced in multiple products and large accounts were highly sought-after
  • Transactional banking professionals continue to be in demand, with an emphasis on trade finance sales and product management talent

Financial Services (Middle & Back Office)

  • Strong recruitment activity particularly in the first half of 2010, while businesses primarily focused on strengthening their financial reporting and product control functions
  • Businesses displayed a strong preference for locally-based candidates, particularly in areas where knowledge of local regulations were crucial
  • Due to regulatory changes, there was a high demand for compliance professionals, while candidates with Mandarin language skills were highly sought-after as organisations looked to strengthen their partnerships with the Chinese market

Human Resources and Business Support

  • Senior level HR professionals were sought-after to drive strategy and HR business partners to foster a closer relationship between the HR function and the rest of the business
  • HR professionals with change management, talent retention and leadership development skills were in significant demand
  • In the business support area, demand for candidates with fluent Mandarin language skills increased as organisations looked to further develop their Chinese operations
  • In 2011, we expect firms to recruit contractors in larger numbers to gain greater flexibility. As the demand grows, we predict a shortage of high-calibre contracting candidates and organisations may need to offer higher salaries and more challenging roles to increase the number of candidates attracted to this field

Information Technology

  • Financial software, telecommunications and IT servicing firms renewed hiring for many roles that were put on hold during the global financial crisis in the first half of the year
  • Recruitment activity gradually increased in the second half of 2010, with growing demand for candidates with Java, C#, SAP and Linux skills
  • The shortage of locally-based talent is expected to continue and we predict an increasing focus on international candidates and overseas returnees to bridge the talent gap


  • Within commerce and industry, significant demand for corporate/commercial and e-commerce lawyers in the IT&T, FMCG, pharmaceutical, energy and retail sectors was witnessed as multinationals began to bolster their legal teams
  • Candidates with PRC experience were sought-after as Hong Kong firms opened new offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing
  • Due to the heavy volume of IPO listings, corporate specialists with two to five years’ PQE and strong Mandarin language skills were in high demand

Sales & Marketing

  • Increase in hiring levels within the information technology, luxury retail and FMCG sectors
  • Recruitment levels in the FMCG sector remained strong, while roles in demand included brand management and key account management professionals
  • Recruitment activity within the retail and luxury sector remained healthy in 2010, with roles in retail operations and brand management in particular high demand

Supply Chain and Procurement

  • While candidates’ confidence in the market continues to grow along with the economic recovery, salaries will increase slightly in line with inflation at 5-10%
  • As organisations increasingly focus on gaining market share, candidates with strong technical backgrounds and experience, excellent business networks and leadership abilities will be highly sought-after within the sourcing and merchandising field

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Fiona Cheong, Editorial & PR Specialist at +65-6228-5313; or Alfons Chan, Editorial Specialist at +86 (0)21 5153 5888;

About Robert Walters

Robert Walters Plc is one of the world’s largest professional recruitment consultancies with 43 offices in 20 countries. The Hong Kong office specialises in placing candidates on a permanent or contract basis in the following specialities: accountancy & finance, banking & financial services, legal, business support, human resources, information technology, sales & marketing, supply chain, procurement & logistics.

For more information about Robert Walters Hong Kong, visit

To download the PDF version of the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2011, To view the latest Robert Walters Asia Job Index report, please


Fiona Cheong

Alfons Chan


SOURCE Robert Walters


Written by asiafreshnews

February 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Business & Finance

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