HR salaries stay strong thanks to high demand

by Hannah Norton09 Jun 2015
HR roles remain in high demand across Asia, with salaries tipped to stay strong, according to a new study.

The 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide was released last week, assessing salary levels and other data from over 1,300 positions from 2,361 organisations in Asia – representative of more than four million employees.

The golden thread woven throughout the findings were strong hiring intentions evident in most sectors, a trend that is persisting despite the talent shortage across the board.

“Employers in all five of our surveyed countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, China) are seeing a gap – some more significant than others – between the skills that they are looking for and the skills available in the local labour market,” Hays Asia managing director Christine Wright said.

“This has not impeded recruitment plans though and hiring intentions are strong in most sectors and industries.”

This is particularly so in the HR space – with strong demand for certain roles in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Singapore

As the candidate shortage continues, HR salaries are tipped to remain strong.
Singapore HR directors and heads of HR with less than eight years’ experience are expected to earn between S$150,000-180,000 annually.

HR directors with 8-10 years’ plus experience are tipped to earn more in the vicinity of S$180,000-220,000 per annum.

Regional HR directors with over a decade of experience are anticipated to earn between S$220-$250,000, while regional HR directors and VP of HRs are set to earn between S$250,000 and S$400,000.

The study also predicted increased demand for both permanent and temporary/contract HR talent due to a number of factors, including the emergence of regional hubs based in Singapore, as well as an increasing number of companies moving their headquarters to the city-state.

By the end of last year, L&D and compensation & benefits specialists had overtaken middle management HR professionals as the positions most in demand.

Hong Kong

Strong hiring activity was the hallmark of 2014, and Hays has tipped this trend to continue, largely due to the number of foreign-owned companies establishing operations there.

“This trend has created demand for both HR business partners as well as HR generalists,” the Salary Guide said.

Hong Kong HR directors and heads of HR with less than eight years’ experience are expected to earn between HKD$840,000 and HKD$1.2m annually.

HR directors with 8-10 years’ plus experience are also tipped to earn between HKD$840,0000 and HKD$1.2m annually.

Regional HR directors with over a decade of experience are anticipated to earn between HKD$960,000 to HKD$1.5m, while regional HR directors and VP of HRs were set to earn between HKD$1.2m-2m.

Malaysia

Hays expected another year of growth for Malaysia’s HR market and salary increases for top talent.

Several areas of demand were said to exist.

“Firstly, candidates with regional experience are valued by organizations moving their regional headquarters here and are thus able to command salary increases,” the guide said.

“Also, as organisations shift their focus from cost reduction to retention and engagement, we have seen a particular increase in demand for talent management and organizational development skills to strengthen retention strategies and build all-important succession plans.”

Malaysia-based HR directors and heads of HR with less than eight years’ experience are expected to earn between MYR$150,000-180,0000.

HR directors with 8-10 years’ plus experience are tipped to earn between MYR$180,000-215,000.

Regional HR directors with over a decade of experience are anticipated to earn between MYR$252,000-300,000, while regional HR directors and VP of HRs were set to earn between MYR$360,000-540,000.

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