Bosses fore­cast big pay raises for staff next year: Re­port

Global recruitment spe­cial­ist’s sur­vey shows qual­i­fied white- col­lar work­ers in high de­mand

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS DIGEST - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­

Many Chi­nese em­ploy­ers ex­pect to see as much as dou­ble-digit salary in­creases for their em­ploy­ees in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the China 2014 Salary & Em­ploy­ment Fore­cast re­leased by global lead­ing recruitment spe­cial­ist Michael Page.

A to­tal of 63 per­cent of the 5,000-plus re­spon­dents from 700 cor­po­ra­tions said they ex­pect their av­er­age salaries to rise by 6 to 10 per­cent and about 18 per­cent of them ex­pect the in­crease to be above 10 per­cent.

The top four job po­si­tions that are likely to ex­pe­ri­ence a dou­ble-digit salary in­crease in­clude pro­cure­ment and sup­ply chains, prop­erty and con­struc­tion, en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing and tech­nol­ogy. China’s progress in build­ing se­cond- and third-tier cities is fu­el­ing de­mand for skilled em­ploy­ees, which also has helped to bring about the likely siz­able salary growth.

About 37 per­cent of the in­ter­vie­wees agreed that peo­ple in pro­cure­ment and sup­ply chain po­si­tions are very likely to see a dou­ble-digit salary in­crease, the high­est of all the named dis­ci­plines, be­cause most em­ploy­ers in China are at­tach­ing as much im­por­tance to com­pa­nies’ pur­chas­ing strength as they are to their sales forces, ac­cord­ing to Richard King, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Michael Page North & Eastern China.

“En­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing re­main ma­jor ar­eas of growth and de­vel­op­ment in China. Tal­ented can­di­dates have mul­ti­ple op­tions and the bat­tle for tal­ent in this area con­tin­ues. In ad­di­tion, China is grow­ing much faster in terms of salary in­creases than the rest of the world,” said King.

Wu Yue, the man­ager of Shang­hai Zai­wang Steel Co Ltd, said the av­er­age salary of her com­pany’s em­ploy­ees will in­crease by 10 to 20 per­cent in the up­com­ing 12 months.

King added that tech­ni­cal roles such as re­search and de­vel­op­ment as well as qual­ity con­trol roles are gain­ing more em­pha­sis be­cause Chi­nese com­pa­nies are be­com­ing more tech­ni­cal and so­phis­ti­cated to re­main com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket with higher qual­ity goods rather than lower costs. About 55 per­cent of the sur­veyed em­ploy­ers in the fore­cast be­lieve skill short­ages will cause salaries to rise above in­fla­tion in the next 12 months.

Jay Tan, di­rec­tor of Michael Page East China, fur­ther ex­plained that jobs are be­com­ing more so­phis­ti­cated in China. For man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, the salaries of blue-col­lar work­ers may not rise as quickly as those of re­search and de­vel­op­ment work­ers, he said.

Mean­while, qual­i­fied and tal­ented mar­ket­ing per­son­nel are in huge de­mand, with 64 per­cent of em­ploy­ers ex­pect­ing staff turnovers in the next 12 months and 41 per­cent fore­see­ing a pro­fes­sional skills short­age, the fore­cast fur­ther dis­cov­ered.

The trend is es­pe­cially true in the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, so­cial net­work and e-com­merce sec­tors, King added. Xu Wei­wei, di­rec­tor of Michael Page East China, said the com­pany has wit­nessed the trend over the past decade in China, es­pe­cially in the lux­ury re­tail in­dus­try.

“Quite a large num­ber of our lux­ury re­tail cus­tomers have a ris­ing de­mand for peo­ple in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. Do­mes­tic can­di­dates have ob­tained the tech­ni­cal know-how but they lack the nec­es­sary bilin­gual and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, which means qual­i­fied can­di­dates for world-lead­ing multi­na­tional com­pa­nies are in great short­age,” said Xu.

Si­mon Lance, re­gional di­rec­tor of the re­cruit­ing group Hays in China, agreed that so­cial me­dia is a hot topic in the hu­man re­sources mar­ket. “In recruitment, so­cial me­dia and net­work­ing sites have be­come widely adopted and have contributed sig­nif­i­cantly to can­di­date en­gage­ment and re­la­tion­ship- build­ing. In 2014 we ex­pect most em­ploy­ers to look for hu­man re­sources pro­fes­sion­als with ex­per­tise in so­cial me­dia to take bet­ter ad­van­tage of this trend,” he said.

In ad­di­tion, hir­ing de­mand in China will re­main ro­bust in the up­com­ing year, with 75 per­cent of the sur­veyed em­ploy­ers ex­pect­ing steady or stronger hir­ing ac­tiv­ity and 45 per­cent an­tic­i­pat­ing staff turnover. There is a no­tice­able in­crease in the hir­ing ac­tiv­ity of Chi­nese do­mes­tic com­pa­nies and Sta­te­owned en­ter­prises, the fore­cast noted.

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