Malaysia’s salary increases second only to China in Asia Salary Guide

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  • 31 per cent of employers in Malaysia gave a salary increase of 6 to 10 per cent last year;
  • Looking ahead, 33 per cent of employers will increase salaries by 6 to 10 per cent, and 10 per cent will offer increases above that level;
  • Bonuses based on performance are used to reward top talent.

 

Steady hiring demand will continue in Malaysia across most sectors and industries this year, which is fuelling positive salary increase expectations amongst employers, says recruiting experts Hays.

 

According to the 2015 Hays Salary Guide, released today, 43 per cent of employees in Malaysia can expect a salary increase of six per cent or more in their next review.

 

The Hays Asia Salary Guide includes salary and recruiting trends for over 1,200 roles in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan. It is based on a survey of 2,361 employers, representing over four million (4,017,026) employees.

 

“Our Guide shows that hiring expectations remain steady across Asia, despite the talent shortage,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia. “Employers in all five of our surveyed countries 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.

 

“Salary increases in Malaysia are the second most generous of the countries surveyed in our Guide. Interestingly, employers are also offering extra benefits to help secure their preferred candidate. Performance-related bonuses are also used to reward top performers.

 

“For candidates, there are great opportunities presented by the current market. Savvy job seekers are taking advantage of Asia’s tight talent market to secure roles offering career progression, which long-term will ultimately lead to a higher salary,” she said.

 

Salaries

The Hays Asia Salary Guide shows that Malaysia saw some impressive salary increases last year, with 31 per cent of employers increasing salaries in their last review by six to 10 per cent. A further nine per cent gave increases above 10 per cent. Meanwhile 48 per cent increased salaries by three to six per cent. Just nine per cent of employers gave increases of less than three per cent, and only three per cent of employers gave no increases.

 

A slightly higher percentage (33 per cent) of Malaysia’s employers will increase salaries by six to 10 per cent in the year ahead, while 10 per cent will increase above that level. 47 per cent will increase between three and six per cent. Only nine per cent of employers will offer increases of less than three per cent and just one per cent of employers will give no increases at all.

 

Country-by-country the Hays Asia Salary Guide shows that China remains the standout for salary increases, as it was last year. One in two (50 per cent) employers increased salaries in their last review by between six and 10 per cent, and a further 16 per cent increased above that level. Looking ahead, employers are even more generous. Again 50 per cent intend to increase salaries by six to 10 per cent, while a significant 20 per cent will increase by more than 10 per cent. 

 

Salary increases in Hong Kong are, and will remain, much more subdued than in mainland China. The majority of employers in Hong Kong (64 per cent) increased salaries between three and six per cent in their last review, with a similar number (63 per cent) expecting to increase at this level in their next review.

 

The situation is similar in Singapore, where 59 per cent of employers increased salaries in their last review by three to six per cent, and 54 per cent will do so in their next review.

 

Employers in Japan continue to show restraint when it comes to salary increases. In their last review the majority of employers (56 per cent) gave increases of less than three per cent, while a further 15 per cent gave no increase at all. The situation is similar for the year ahead.

 

Benefits

The majority of employers (83 per cent) continue to give their staff benefits. Popular benefits in Malaysia are health (64 per cent), car or car allowance (58 per cent) and life assurance (47 per cent).

 

Bonuses

Bonuses remain a favoured method of rewarding staff; this year 51 per cent of employers across Asia said they will award bonuses to more than 50 per cent of their staff. In the majority of cases these bonuses are related to employee performance (80 per cent) and employer performance (73 per cent). This shows that rather than give across-the-board salary increases, employers are using bonuses based on performance to reward their top talent. Just 11 per cent of employers said bonuses are guaranteed.

 

In terms of the value of these bonuses, 44 per cent of employers said they will award between 11 and 50 per cent of staff salary as a bonus. 34 per cent said bonuses will equate to less than 10 per cent of staff salary.

 

Other key findings

In other key findings, the Hays Asia Salary Guide shows that 72 per cent of employers expect their levels of business activity to increase in the year ahead, 48 per cent expect permanent headcount to rise, and almost one half (45 per cent) said the skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department.

 

Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting www.hays.com.my/salary-guide, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.

 

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.  Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email tom.osborne@hays.com.my

 

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

 

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