Average Hong Kong salaries predicted to increase by 1.7% in 2022 according to latest survey


1st December 2021 – (Hong Kong) A local recruitment agency, JobsDB.com conducted an an independent research institute that sampled 438 corporations and revealed that companies anticipate an average salary increment of 1.7 % in 2022 — a near 1% increase (0.9%) compared to predictions of a 0.8% average pay rise as conveyed in the previous survey. Looking into the markets of 2022, respondents remain cautiously optimistic while expecting the resumption of hiring plans to pre-pandemic levels. More than 30% (32%) of employers, up 18% from 2021, express interest in more full-time hiring with an aim to expand business. A considerable number of employers say in addition to relevant work experience, candidate’s personality, work ethics and compatibility with corporate culture remain their top considerations. The report also reveals that 47% of employers hired new graduates over the past 12 months.

In light of positive market outlook, over 30% companies to increase headcount

With market landscapes continuing to hinge on the pandemic, recovery awaits. Similar to the prior year (23%), 21% companies admit to lay-offs during June to August this year. Meanwhile, the report also reveals that more than 80% (81%) of companies recruited new staff, with 74% of respondents inducting new full-time members — up 19% from the previous year.

Looking further ahead at overall market developments, with a small number of companies holding a pessimistic view (14%), 36% anticipate the situation to remain steady through the year. In comparison, 46% expect a more active employment market in Q1 2022, while 49% expect even stronger recovery in the second half of the year. 

Forecasting the upcoming Q1 2022, more than half (55%) of the surveyed companies say they would consider freezing or maintaining headcount, down 8% from last year. One-third (32%) of respondents — an increase of 18% from the previous year — plan to increase full time headcount, expecting to rebound to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 (38%) with different reasons of “business expansion” (70%), “growth of new roles” (38%) and replacement of resigned staff” (37%). The study has also found “Admin & HR” (24%), “Corporate Sales & Business Development” (19%), “Marketing & Branding” (16%), “Customer Services” (15%) and “Accounting” (14%) to be the most in-demand jobs in Q1 2022.

Employers predict 1.7% salary increment in 2022; business development-related roles highly sought after

The report suggests that employers are predicting a 1.7% pay rise in 2022, which is around a 1% increase following sustained decreases in the last two years. Roles likely to benefit from salary increases include “Information Technology” (3.7%), “Banking” (3.5%), “Transportation & Logistics” (2.5%), “Analytics” (2.5%), “Hospitality/Tourism” (2.4%), and “Corporate Sales & Business Development” (2.4%). Meanwhile, “Media/Advertising” (0.3%), “Beauty Care/Health” (0.5%) and “Design” (1%) are expected to have among the lowest salary increments.

“The improving global economy helps enterprises revive business operational plans. Salary adjustments to digital transformation-related job functions, including ‘Information Technology’ and ‘Analytics’, continue to outperform market averages. The growing demand for new roles, ‘new skill set required’, alongside ‘business expansion’, have also become main reasons for headcount increases. This shows that corporations are more focused on digital transformation.

Surging demand for talent with leading candidates receiving offers from at least two companies

Work experience of job applicants remains the top criteria for employers (70%), personality, attitude and compatibility with corporate culture ranks second (39%) under the new normal, slightly higher than “Academic Qualifications” (38%). Moreover, 5% more employers (47%) recruited recent graduates over the past 12 months, when compared to the previous survey result.

63% of employers experienced job applicants declining offers in the past 12 months, mainly due to “Have accepted another job offer” (89%) and “terms of the offer are unsatisfactory (54%) ”. One-third (33%) of job applicants declined offers to stay at their original organisations.

In addition to “Attractive salary/compensation” (41%), employers reportedly provided greater benefits, including “Good working environment/facilities” (35%), “Harmonious relationship among colleagues” (26%), and “Promotion of work-life balance” (25%) to attract suitable talents.

The report also shows that more companies are making work-life balance a part of employee retention measures, with “Five-day work week” (82%), “Early leave on festive days” (79%), “Casual wear everyday” (53%), “Free snacks, drinks, fruits” (55%) and “Work from home” (49%) among the most popular measures. For companies that offer work from home benefits, more than half of the respondents (51%) allows employees to make their choices on their work at home arrangement.