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THE latest salary guide by human resource consultancy Hays Asia found that employers in Singapore are planning moderate increases in salary this year.
Some 47 per cent of employers in Singapore plan salary increases of 3 to 6 per cent in the next review period and 28 per cent plan increases of only up to 3 per cent.
A further 11 per cent of employers in Singapore plan to increase salaries this year by 6 to 10 per cent. Another 7 per cent of employers plan increases above 10 per cent while 7 per cent do not plan any increases.
In the coming year, 63 per cent of employers intend awarding staff bonuses.
"We will see some tension this year between employers taking a cautious approach to salaries to help navigate economic conditions in the region more generally and candidates hungry for advancement," said Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.
"To make the best of these conditions, candidates should do their research thoroughly before pitching for salary and give more weight to other benefits such as career development opportunities that will pay off when the salary climate is more favourable to candidates."
The Hays Salary Guide highlights salary and recruiting trends drawn from more than 3,000 employers across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan representing six million employees as well as the salary ranges for more than 1,200 roles.
The report also found that the majority of employers (60 per cent) expect business activity to increase this year. Over the next year, 43 per cent of employers expect to hire more permanent staff while 46 per cent will maintain current staffing levels.
Hays found that 60 per cent of employers have used flexible staffing such as temps/contractors in the past year and 19 per cent plan to increase their use of temporary staffing this year.
Ms Wright said that while employers are expecting skills shortage to be a challenge this year, most will still keep salaries in check.
"To fill shortages, Singapore's employers will need to focus more attention on other strategies such as developing their pipeline of female talent and remaining open to recruiting from overseas," she said.
Only 27 per cent of management roles are held by women in Singapore compared to 37 per cent in Malaysia, 32 per cent in China and 28 per cent in Hong Kong. Women in Japan hold only 19 per cent of management roles.