China continues to lead Asia in terms of its ability to dole out hefty salary increases. A recent Hays salary report shows that 51 per cent of mainland employers gave increments of six to ten per cent. That generosity is even more pronounced in the banking sector with most employers willing to pay 15 to 20 per cent above market rate to attract the best talent.
Simon Lance, regional director of Hays in China, says: “If local talent is unable to be found with the skill-sets required, banks will still consider hiring overseas candidates and they are willing to pay a premium to attract these people. Salary packages for certain positions are definitely competitive to global market levels.”
“While global economic conditions are a challenge for China’s banking industry with most international banks reducing their human capital, China remains one of the hottest markets for global investment, and is still in a strong position as many banks shift their investments here to balance their risk globally. Many mid-sized firms continue to expand and big banks are still hiring.”
That said, internal wage increases are unlikely to change significantly, most mainland candidates only receive increments when they move into a new role.
Where it pays off the most
Hedge fund investment pay jumps are among the highest – about 20 to 30 per cent – especially with new job opportunities due to the Chinese government’s recent policy changes on margin financing and short selling. Other areas like M&A, private banking and SME banking also afford substantial increments for both low- and high-level positions, reflecting market needs.
Daisy Chen, manager of banking and financial services at Robert Walters Shanghai, says: “Another factor that encouraged growth was an increased CPI. As such, it was not surprising to see salary increments in several functions. However, we do not anticipate continuous wage increases in 2012 due to global economic uncertainties and cautious hiring in the financial services sector.”