1 in 10 finance, accounting and IT roles will see double-digit salary growth in Hong Kong

02 April 2015

Modest salary rises expected although hiring activity remains buoyant

A handful of hot jobs still commanding larger than average increases

The days of double-digit salary increases may be at an end as employers look to reign in the strong wage growth of the last three years and offer non-financial incentives to attract and retain employees.

According to the 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide for Hong Kong, employees are more likely to receive wage rises below the 10 per cent or more many positions received in previous years.

The Robert Half Asia Salary guide covers four markets: Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Shanghai. The industry sectors that the guide covers are:

  • Finance and Accounting: Covering accountants, finance, credit, tax, and treasury experts working in a range of industry sectors.
  • Banking and Financial Services: Covering roles in banks, insurance and financial institutions, including risk, compliance, finance and accounting, operations and front office.
  • Technology: Covering roles as application managers, IT architects, IT directors, CIOs (Chief Information Officers), network engineers, programme managers and security analysts.

Ms Pallavi Anand, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said double-digit salary increases are increasingly rare with the majority of salaries across all industries expected to increase by five to nine per cent.

“Hong Kong is seeing moderate growth in wages across most positions. Instead of offering large salary increases, employers are looking at non-financial ways to attract new employees and to compensate existing ones. A positive work culture, flexible working conditions, international opportunities and mentoring are regularly offered as incentives to retain and motivate employees.”

“While the trend is toward moderate salary rises, some roles remain in high demand and companies need to offer attractive salary packages in order to recruit or retain talented individuals.”

“Corporate governance and compliance roles continue to be particularly hot, and have been for the last couple of years. This includes internal and IT audit roles as well as all the positions involved in risk mitigation and management,” Ms Anand said.

Wage growth slowing but hiring activity increasing

While wage growth is moderating, the number of companies making new hires is increasing. 

The Commerce and Industry sector will be the most active hirers, with 53 per cent increasing their headcount of accounting and finance professionals.

Banking and financial services companies will also be active in the employment market with 46 per cent making new hires. 

Table 1: Hiring forecast for Hong Kong for the first half of 2015 

Commerce & Industry

2013

2014

2015

Expanding headcount

48%

48%

53%

Maintaining headcount

37%

43%

37%

Freezing headcount

13%

9%

9%

Reducing headcount

2%

0%

1%

 

Banking & Financial Services  

2013

2014

2015

Expanding headcount

36%

46%

46%

Maintaining headcount

46%

47%

45%

Freezing headcount

15%

5%

9%

Reducing headcount 

3%

1%

1%

 

Technology

2013

2014

2015

Expanding headcount

32%

26%

40%

Maintaining headcount

34%

61%

41%

Freezing headcount

24%

13%

17%

Reducing headcount 

10%

1%

2%

40 per cent of companies are planning to add new permanent technology staff in the first half of the year.

The hot jobs

Of the 14 roles that can expect to receive double digit salary increases this year, 10 are in compliance, audit and risk management roles, demonstrating the importance companies are now placing on corporate governance.

The list is also dominated by roles in the Banking and Financial Services sector which accounts for seven positions on the list, followed by Technology and Finance and Accounting roles.

The two hottest positions are both technology roles with IT Risk/IT Security roles expected to enjoy a 16 per cent annual increase while IT Auditor roles are estimated to rise by 15 per cent.

Table 2: The hottest jobs in Hong Kong

% Increase 

Industry

Position

16%

Technology

IT Security / IT Risk

15%

Technology

IT Auditor

14%

Banking and Financial Services

Internal Audit Managing Director

13%

Finance and Accounting

Internal Audit Manager

13%

Finance and Accounting

Internal Audit Director

12%

Finance and Accounting

Internal Auditor

12%

Banking and Financial Services

Internal Audit VP/SVP

12%

Banking and Financial Services

Tax Associate / Manager / AVP

11%

Technology

Senior Business Analyst

11%

Banking and Financial Services

Project Management Risk, Managing Director

10%

Banking and Financial Services

Project Management Risk, Analyst

10%

Banking and Financial Services

Project Management Risk Associate / Manager / AVP

10%

Banking and Financial Services

Project Management Risk, VP/SVP

10%

Technology

Front Office Application / Production Support

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Contact us

MEDIA CONTACT

Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
E: gabrielle.nagy@roberthalf.com.au

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