Latest Salary Range & Employment Trends across Asia: Summary

October 9, 20192:52 pm5089 views

In years to come, digital technology is predicted to advance faster with no sign of slowing down. Along with this, businesses need to reshape their strategy in order to blossom, hence companies should follow a trend towards improved career progression, including salary increment, Hays reported. 

Besides, employees expect their salaries to increase again (prior to 0.1 percent in 2018) in the upcoming year by between three and six percent. Aside from salary increment, work-life balance retained its importance for the majority of employees, with 42 percent of respondents cited that work-life balance is the reason why they don’t change jobs. Meanwhile, 57 percent said the ability to remote work is more important when looking for a new job.

Image: Hays Asia survey highlights*

Without further ado, to stay ahead and competitive in terms of salary and compensation, here is the salary update of each region across Asia.

See also: Negotiating on Pay: How to Hold Compensation Conversations?

Australia & New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand markets had steady growth in 2018. Yet, in 2019, salary growth has generally been modest for the past three years and pressure is gradually building for a possible uplift in wage levels. More employers will increase salary but the value of those increases might fall. For example, 65 percent intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3 percent or less. Meanwhile, 21 percent of employers intend to increase salaries at the mid-level between 3 and 6 percent for the following year, 2020.Increase

There will also be a tight talent pool in specific roles such as infrastructure, technology, banking and financial services, automation and data management professionals when it comes to hiring. Therefore, employers need to strengthen networks to stay ahead in the challenging year ahead, advised James Nicholson to Robert Walters survey. Other important advice for employers includes thinking long-term, for example, hiring and training graduates with the right aptitude, as well as upskilling existing personnel.

Greater China

Professionals who thrive on change stand to gain the most in 2019, as organisations continue to embrace new ways of working, led by digital-first strategy. At the same time, digital technologies have already dramatically impacted the culture around work and the evolution of “smart workplaces.” Employers should consider adopting new digital technologies and platforms to create positive employee experiences, helping to attract and retain employees. 

Staff retention will continue to be a top priority for all organisations in 2019. In addition to paying competitive salaries, 12 percent of companies across Greater China might increase salary up to 3 percent. While 30 percent others will go from 6 percent to 10 percent.

Regarding salary increment, organisations need to examine multiple factors, such as corporate culture, employer branding, learning and development opportunities, career progression and international mobility in order to retain the best talent, advised Matthew Bennett to Robert Walters survey.


Most of the Japanese companies sought to ‘go global’ bolstered by their confidence in the domestic economy. And yet, the sustained labour shortage will continue to drive the competitive job market in 2019, giving job seekers greater opportunities and leverage.

Jeremy Sampson, Robert Walters managing director Japan, advised that employers must excite candidates with their company’s vision and growth potential as well as offer competitive compensations. Businesses also need to streamline their recruitment processes to avoid losing talent to competitors with quick interview and selection processes.

For former employees, 46 percent of companies intend to increase salary up to 3 percent while 3 to 6 percent companies will increase the salary up to 10 percent.

South Korea

Technology, especially AI and robotic processes are seen to tightly drive businesses across South Korea. Business conglomerates are also making substantial investments in creating new ideas, especially in the semiconductor and AI sectors, which are considered the most important components of the 4.0 industry.

Likewise, a planned increase in the minimum wage and implementation of 52-hour workweek began to affect businesses. As a result, there is a significant demand for HR professionals with compensation and benefits experience to continue in 2019. The minimum wage is set to rise by over 10 percent in 2019.

Middle East

The Middle East experienced a positive year with a significant increase in hiring across the region such as Kuwait City, Riyadh, and Dubai. In addition, multinationals will continue to open its regional headquarters in Dubai, bringing further opportunities for finance professionals. Digitalisation is also expected to develop continuously as companies look to optimise performance. Moreover, within the luxury space, there might be an increase in salary offered to top talent.

South-East Asia

Businesses in the region are placing more focus on employee retention by investing in training, offering benefits such as flexible working arrangements and providing attractive counter-offers for top talents. As such, employers looking to hire skilled professionals will need to do more to secure the talent they want. Moreover, there are several elections being held across South East Asia in 2018 and 2019. Thus, employers should be able to maintain their dynamic growth because the election will impact on recruitment activity.

For the salary information in different regions, Indonesia will continue to rise in 2019 with job movers likely to be able to receive similar average rises of 20-25 percent. And there are at least 20 percent salary rises expected for roles in human resources, information technology, sales and marketing. The top four determining job satisfaction are remuneration, work-life balance, feedback and encouragement from management, training and opportunities.

For Malaysia region, salaries are expected to remain similar in 2019, with job movers expected hikes of 20-30 percent. Top factors determining satisfaction are remuneration, work-life balance, feedback and encouragement from management, training and opportunities.

Philippines companies intend to raise salaries for job movers at an average rate of 20 percent in 2019. For roles in technology, however, you can expect a rise up to 60 percent. Four determining job satisfaction is the same as Malaysia and Indonesia.  

In Singapore, on average, candidates can expect increments of 7-15 percent when moving jobs. The employees rated 5.9 when asked about how satisfied their salary was from a scale 1-10.

For Thailand employers, salary increment varies by role. Those in back-office or support roles can increase 15-20 percent, whereas those in front office roles increase 20-30 percent. And those with niche skill sets might negotiate premium rises of 30 percent.

In Vietnam, job movers can expect an average increment of 15-25 percent. The growth areas driving recruitment are manufacturing, technology, real estate and construction, as well as healthcare. 

Read also: Want To Set Competitive Salaries & Compensations? Read This First

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)