Asia firms likely to hire more, hike salaries this year

by Max V. de Leon, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 04 2013 08:18 AM | Updated as of Jan 05 2013 01:15 AM

Majority of companies in Asia expect to hire more employees and also give salary increases this year, a survey of Hong Kong-based executive head hunter Bó Lè Associates revealed.

The firm’s Annual Regional Client Survey for 2012-2013 showed that on the average, majority of companies will increase salaries by 5 percent to 10 percent.

“The industry most looking to implement over 20 percent salary increase in 2013 is the pharmaceutical/healthcare sector. In only two industries did respondents note that they may not use a pay increment in 2012—manufacturing and industrial, of which industrial had the highest percentage of respondents not adding salaries in 2013. Industries that are looking to offer the lowest salary increase in 2013 [less than 5 percent] will be financial services,” Bó Lè said.

The survey also disclosed that 50 percent of companies overall are looking to beef up their current staff by 5 percent to 10 percent this year.

About 4 percent of the total respondents have indicated that they would hire over 30 percent extra staff in 2013.

On the other hand, over 23 percent of the respondents noted they will have a hiring or headcount freeze in 2013, particularly in transportation/logistics.

In getting employees, especially executive-level people, the respondents said their top offers are salary, perks and benefits.

These are followed by working environment/company culture, and career and development opportunities. “The exception was the manufacturing and information technology industries, in which stability and company performance was chosen as the most important aspect of an employer of choice,” Bó Lè said.

Over 52 percent of the respondents noted that they use a balanced approach to employer branding, utilizing both internal initiatives like programs focused on improving employees working environment, as well as external initiatives (programs focused on improving company image to potential employees).

The survey respondents are primarily represented by large multinational companies and local conglomerates with over 5,000 employees globally.

Bó Lè Associates is the largest executive search firm in Asia with a well-developed network of 25 wholly owned local offices worldwide, over 520 staff, including 470+ experienced consultants and researchers, and 50+ support staff including finance and accounting, information technology, in-house recruitment and training, and marketing and communication specialists. It has been ranked No. 1 in China and Indonesia and in the top three in Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.