Salary Growth Rates Expected Across Asia Pacific In 2017

salary increment asia 2017

Mercer recently performed research on the nominal wage growth occurring in Asia-Pacific countries, and found that that employees should be receiving slightly higher salary increases in 2017 compared to 2016.

The region is seen as an outlier due to the uncertainty of the global economy, and the fact that it is expected to perform above the global average. Inflation is low for most of the countries, so that helps to make the real wage growth relatively better.

Expected Percentages

Two countries that have the largest percentage of salary growth are Vietnam at 9.2 percent and India at 10.8 percent.

In addition, the financial regions of Singapore and Hong Kong are both expected to see about a 4 percent increase.

Countries that are among the lowest with increases between 2-3 percent, include Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

salaries in asia 2017

Employee Pay Levels And Rewards

Korea, Australia and Japan all have starting salaries that begin at about $30,000, and as employees move up the ladder, salaries rise steadily to the point where they could be making between $250,000 and $350,000.

In many of the countries in Asia (especially China), executives that are higher up in companies will earn better paychecks than their counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, this is only keeping salaries in mind, since things are different when the long-term incentives and social security benefits available in Europe are brought into the equation.

In Asia countries need to focus more on benefits and take a tailored approach. For instance, Korea and Japan both have an aging workforce with the average age of 45, and the benefits provided revolve around retirement and long-term incentives, whereas places with a younger workforce like in the Philippines, Indonesia and India focus on learning and development along with flexible benefits.


Turnover seems to be an issue for companies in just about all of the Asia-Pacific countries as the research uncovered a double-digit turnover rate. The only two countries that aren’t facing these high rates of turnover are New Zealand and Japan.

Tech Firms In Asia Raise Salary Budgets Due To Rising Turnover

asia turnover salary 2017

Experts might expect that, given the fluctuating state of the global economy, employees would want to retain their positions for longer periods of time. However, at least in the technology industry in the Asia-Pacific region, and in Singapore, specifically, this does not hold true.

New reports show that technology companies in Asia-Pacific have high voluntary employee turnover rates. These high turnover rates are a surprising outcome considering the high levels of instability and uncertainty in economies around the world.

In fact, voluntary turnover rates in all markets, except for Japan and South Korea, are higher than 10 percent. Singapore is fourth when compared to all regional major markets at 11.7 percent, trailing Australia, Malaysia and India in terms of the highest voluntary turnover rates.

These stats came from the Radford Trends Report, which publishes surveys and reports about compensation and development in more than 80 countries. Radford is a part of Aon Hewitt.

As a result of the increasing voluntary employee turnover, the report shows that many of the companies in the region have started to create hiring plans that might be deemed more aggressive than normal. Two-thirds of companies in the technology sector in Asia-Pacific have created detailed plans to help address this situation.

India is also leading this trend, with 13 percent of the companies implementing an aggressive hiring plan. Companies in India are also reporting plans to take their salary increase budgets from 10.5% in 2016 to 11% in 2017.

While the salary increase isn’t quite as drastic in Singapore as it is in countries like India or Indonesia, it isn’t far behind.

Companies in Singapore are also working to improve their employee retention. To respond to median voluntary turnover at 11.7%, technology companies in Singapore are keeping more aside for salary increase budgets (4.4% in 2017 vs 4.2% in 2016).

technology it company salary increase 2017 asia singapore

Condition Of The Job Market In Asia (2016)

asian job market salaries 2016

The Hays Global Skills Index is a report that aims to evaluate the labour market in various countries, based on the following criteria.

  • Education flexibility and quality.
  • Resident participation in the labor market.
  • Flexibility and openness of the labor market.
  • Mismatch in the talent that employers need and what is available in the market.
  • Wage pressures (overall).
  • Wage pressures (highly skilled industries).
  • Wage pressures (highly skilled occupations).

Each indicator is ranked individually out of 10 possible points and the scores are compiled to create the overall score. A lower score means that an indicator is putting less pressure on the labour market (which is good) and a higher score means that it is exerting more pressure.

Here’s how countries in Asia fared.


The recruitment market is still active for a variety of different industries, including banking and finances, life sciences and information technology.

Standout Stats:

  • While economic growth has slowed over the past few years, the real GDP continues to grow.
  • Employment continues to grow, even though it’s at a slower rate than it has been previously.
  • Overall wage pressure has experienced a slight decrease, but there is greater upward wage pressure than in the past, for high skilled industries.

Overall, Singapore scored a 4.7, the same score it received in 2015, with good education flexibility/levels and labor market participation as the primary causes for the low number..

Companies are using more contract or temporary employees in Singapore.



While the economy in the rest of the world took a significant hit, Malaysia faced the difficulties well, coming out better off than analysts would have expected.

Standout Stats:

  • The economy continues to grow, even though it’s at a slower rate that past reports have found.
  • Analysts are predicting that Malaysia’s GDP will grow to between four and five percent, in 2016 and 2017.
  • The Ringgit depreciation will open the doors for more exporters.

Malaysia came in with a score of 5.1 for 2016, the first time the country has been included in the index.

Labour market flexibility and openness is the biggest concern for Malaysia.


Hong Kong

The open economy in Hong Kong means that it can be easily influenced by outside factors, such as the slowing growth of China’s GDP.

Despite that, Hong Kong continues to be a regional hub and financial center, with an active labour market.

Standout Stats:

  • Thanks to the effects of the Chinese market, Hong Kong’s economic growth is much slower than previous years. The slow down is also caused by drops in consumer spending and private investment in capital.
  • Hong Kong’s labour market is strong and active, with increased support from the fiscal policy.

Hong Kong scored a 4.5 this year, the same score it received in 2015.

There has been a decrease in labour market participation rates and increased talent shortages, which are leading to wage pressure overall.



China’s market, which impacted Hong Kong’s overall scores, also saw a noticeable drop in its own scores.

Standout Stats

  • Experts predict that the Chinese economy will grow by about six percent in 2017. A welcome growth pattern after the sharp and severe downturn that China experienced. New reports show that the exports and investments in infrastructure are balancing the lack of corporate investments.
  • A slowdown in some industries, like steel, coal and financial services, when combined with fast growth in credit, could still put this growth in jeopardy.

China scored 4.3 this year, lower than in 2015, when the country scored 4.7.

A 1.2 score in the flexibility of education and a 1.9 in the participation of the labor market, are offset by an 8.1 in the flexibility of the labor market.

china labour job market 2016


India is another country whose scores have been, and will continue to be, affected by the global economy.

Standout Stats

  • In the next few years, the population of individuals who are able to work is expected to experience a very positive growth.
  • Current data shows that India’s GDP is in a positive spot of growth.
  • Unfortunately, investments aren’t growing at the same speed.

India saw lower pressure in the labour market, down to 4.8 this year, from 5.0 in 2015.

Upward pressure is coming from labour market flexibility and overall wage pressure.



Australia has experienced a big shift being made from mining to service-related industries such as education, health, retail and tourism. This change has led to greater business activity.

This is offset, though, by employers being slow to catch up to salary pressures indicative of the growth. They may soon feel the increased pressure because of the growing turnover and lack of qualified and highly skilled candidates.

Standout Stats

  • Consumer confidence and the wage growth seem to be improving.
  • A huge growth in exports led to GDP growth, which is expected to continue.
  • Business investments, however, have decreased, mainly due to the changes in the mining industry.

There is a higher pressure on the labour market in 2016, as Australia scored a 5.1. In 2015, the country scored a 5.0.

The labor market tightened, due in great part to the country’s talent mismatch. The shift in the economy’s overall focus from mining to service means that employees don’t have the skills necessary for new and emerging industries.


One frequently occurring theme throughout the 2016 Hays Global Skills Index is that all over the world, reports are showing that the gap between available and needed skills is widening. Many of the countries in Asia are no exception to that.

Lower Salary Increases Expected in 2017, For Most Of Asia Pacific

average salary increase asia 2017

As per a report by Willis Towers Watson, salaries in Asia Pacific are expected to increase by 5.9% in 2017.

For 2016 they had predicted an increase of 6.4%. However, the actual salary increase in Asia Pacific was 5.8%.

If the same pattern plays out in 2017, then Willis Towers Watson expects an actual increment that is a fair bit lower than 5.9%. That will make it the third consecutive year of declining budgets for salary increments.


If these numbers are adjusted for inflation, then the real salary increase in 2017 is projected to be 2.9% in Asia-Pacific, as compared to an actual increase of 3.5% in 2016.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers for several countries across Asia Pacific.

Country Projected Salary Increase %

(2017, After Inflation)

Vietnam 6.4
Bangladesh 5.0
Pakistan 5.0
China 4.9
Philippines 4.4
Thailand 4.4
India 4.3
Indonesia 4.3
Cambodia 4.0
Singapore 3.2
Malaysia 3.1
Japan 1.9
Hong Kong 1.7
Australia 0.9
Myanmar -2.2


“We are seeing lower salary increase budgets across much of the region,” stated Sambhav Rakyan, Business Leader, Asia Pacific, at Willis Towers Watson.

Asian Job Market Outlook For Q4 2016

asia full and part time jobs

Manpower surveyed around 15,000 employers in the Asia Pacific region, to arrive at an outlook for the job market in 4Q 2016.

They measure hiring outlook using a term known as Net Employment Outlook (NEO), which is the percentage of employers expecting total employment to increase in their organisations, minus the percentage who think total employment will reduce.

Employers have the highest hiring plans in India and Japan, while those China and Singapore have the lowest.

Here is the NEO for various countries, along with a few highlights:

India (+31%) : Slightly weaker hiring plans compared to the previous quarter and year. The largest growth in jobs is expected in the Wholesale/Retail Trade and the Services sectors. India continues to have the strongest job market in the region.


Japan (+20%) : The job market in Japan remains tight, especially due to demographics. Most industries report good hiring levels, with Mining and Construction showing the most gains. This could be due to needs of the Olympics in 2020.


China (+5%) : Positive hiring is expected in all sectors and most regions in the country. The strongest growth is expected in the Services industry. Hong Kong (+13%)


Australia (+12%) : The country is showing signs of a mild rebound in hiring. All industries expect increased hiring levels, with the best outlook for Transportation & Utilities, Services, and Finance.


Singapore (+8%) : Hiring activity is forecast to decline for the seventh quarter in a row and to levels which are the weakest since 2009.


Fancy Working At The Best Performing Companies In Asia Pacific?

best performing companies in asia 2016

In case our report on the best brands in Singapore wasn’t enough for you, how about a ranking of the highest performing blue-chip companies in Asia?

Perhaps one of these titans could be the place where you work next?

The ranking is complied by Forbes, who aim to arrive at a list of corporate stars in the region, through the following process:

  • The starting point is a total of 1,524 public firms, who have yearly revenue of at least $1.7 billion.
  • These firms are then narrowed down to those who are profitable and whose revenue is greater than it was five years back.
  • Companies with more than 50% government ownership are then taken out of the list.
  • Those with debt ratio of greater than 50%, or those who have a listed parent company as the majority owner, are also out of the running.
  • And finally, the remaining few are evaluated based on a slew of financial indicators/measures.

And that gives us the best companies in Asia Pacific!

22 firms from China met the criteria, the most out of all countries in the region. Alibaba was one of the 22 and made it to the list for the first time in 12 years.

Here are the top 10 firms in Asia Pacific

best companies in asia 1

best companies in asia 2

For the entire list of 50 firms who made the cut in 2016, along with other details and analysis, head over to the Forbes website.

A Look At Asian Consumer Confidence Levels For The Next 6 Months

consumer confidence index asia 1h 2016

The most recent Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence (at the end of H1 2016) shows continued consumer confidence in the majority of Asia Pacific markets.

The Index numbers are compiled through a survey of over 8,500 respondents between the ages of 18 to 64. Those surveyed reside in the 17 Asia Pacific markets that are rated.  They are asked to give a six-month outlook on important economic factors in the region.

Those factors include: the economic conditions, employment prospects, income prospects, the stock market, and quality of life.  Index ratings are calculated on a scale of 0 (most pessimistic) to 100 (most  optimistic), with a rating of 50 considered neutral.

Even with only minor increases in the overall score for Asia Pacific (0.05 points), the index numbers are only slightly below the optimistic level (60 points).

Of the 17 markets ranked, Taiwan’s gain of 16.3 points (to 45.3) raised their numbers from the lowest ranking in the region a year earlier.  Taiwan’s numbers have been on a roller-coaster ride over recent years. The H1 2016 numbers were boosted because of increases in all major factors, with better expectations in stock market movements being the primary contributor.

The Philippines, also showed significantly better results.  Recent elections in the country caused consumer confidence to improve almost 13 points, to 95.2.  The Philippines’ score has not been higher since the inception of the survey in 1995.

Not all of the countries in the region scored as well. Confidence levels for seven of the 17 markets deteriorated since H2 2015.  Indonesia, followed by Hong Kong, and Singapore, showed the largest drop in confidence. Sagging employment prospects were pointed to as the chief reason for the declines.

Eric Schneider, Asia Pacific- Senior Vice President, Mastercard Advisors said, “Overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific has shown a marginal change with some economies facing headwinds, but the region’s emerging markets including China, India, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines remain resilient with consumers expressing optimism about economic prospects over the next six months. Even as emerging Asia continues to drive the region’s growth, governments and businesses need to ensure stability and strong fundamentals in order to weather future external shocks.”

Highlights for Asia Pacific:

  • Consumer confidence in APAC markets, with a slight increase of 0.05 percent, remains stable. Overall, the region’s rating rose to 59.72 since H2 2015.  Markets ranked below the 50 line, eight of 17, remained the same.
  • Since recording the most extreme deterioration of consumer confidence in H2 2015, Taiwan rebounded strongly with the largest improvement in H1 2016. Other markets with jumps of at least 5 points were the Philippines, India, and Malaysia.
  • Extreme optimism was voiced by consumers in India (97.6), the Philippines (95.2), Vietnam (94.9), and Myanmar (99.8).
  • Significant Index drops were reported in seven of 17 markets. Indonesia (-14.7), Hong Kong (-12.4), and Singapore (-10.7), had the largest declines.  Decreases in Japan (-8.8), and the aforementioned Hong Kong and Singapore, moved their markets into pessimistic (less than 50 rating) from neutral.

Ratings by country

Australia and New Zealand – Both nations remain in neutral territory. A slight drop was reported for Australia (0.1).  In New Zealand, a slight increase of 3.4 points was helped by improved outlook for employment and the stock Market.

China and Bangladesh – China’s confidence rating rose 1.4 points to 76.  The numbers for Bangladesh showed a greater increase, up 4.3 points to 71.6.

Hong Kong – Hong Kong has seen significant decreases for two consecutive surveys. Hong Kong now sits at the bottom of the Index (32.1).  All five components contributed to the decline, with the employment outlook (-20.9) being the biggest factor.

India – India remains in an extremely optimistic territory by posting a 7.5 point gain, which moved their score up to 97.6.

Indonesia – Indonesia lost significant ground, with the largest decrease of all 17 markets (-14.7).  All five components declined, with employment (-26.9) and the economy (-22.5) showing the largest losses.

Japan – This once mighty economic power continues to fall further behind its neighbors. With a drop of 8.8 points, it moves deeper into pessimistic territory at 38.0 points.  A 22 point loss in confidence in the stock market fueled the continuing slide.

Malaysia – All five components improved enough to halt the two-year slide for Malaysia.  Their rating of 41.4 was raised 9.5 points by renewed faith in the stock market (12.4) and quality of life (11.4).

Myanmar and Vietnam – Both nations remained solidly in the extremely optimistic category with ratings of 94.9 and 99.8 respectively.

Singapore – Singapore fell 10.7 points, entering into the pessimistic category with a score of 33.6.  Double-digit losses in quality of life (-14.5), regular income (-12), and employment (-11) signal problems for the nation.

South Korea – Remained firmly in pessimistic territory with a score of 34.2.

Thailand – Their two-year slide (since H1 2014) continues.  A loss of 8.5 points drops them into neutral territory.

H1 2016 Current Status Change from last half
Asia Pacific 59.72 Neutral + 0.05 Stable +
Australia 42.2 Neutral – -0.1 Stable –
China 76.0 Very Optimistic 1.4 Stable +
Hong Kong 32.1 Pessimistic -12.4 Significant Deterioration
India 97.6 Extremely Optimistic 7.5 Some Improvement
Indonesia 61.8 Optimistic -14.7 Significant Deterioration
Japan 38.0 Pessimistic -8.8 Some Deterioration
Korea 34.2 Pessimistic 0.4 Stable +
Malaysia 41.4 Neutral – 9.5 Some Improvement
New Zealand 55.4 Neutral + 3.4 Stable +
Philippines 95.2 Extremely Optimistic 12.9 Significant Improvement
Singapore 33.6 Pessimistic -10.7 Significant Deterioration
Taiwan 45.3 Neutral – 16.3 Significant Improvement
Thailand 58.2 Neutral + -8.5 Some Deterioration
Vietnam 94.9 Extremely Optimistic 0.7 Stable +
Myanmar 99.8 Extremely Optimistic 4.0 Stable +
Bangladesh 71.6 Optimistic 4.3 Stable +
Sri Lanka 38.0 Pessimistic -4.2 Stable –

A Key Element Needed To Become a CIO In Asia

asian chief information officer cio skills experience

The are many factors that are needed for someone to reach the C-suite.

For Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Asia, international work experience is a very important factor.

Working overseas has become an important and positive experience for their careers, according to a large percentage of Asia’s CIOs.

In a recent report, published by the recruitment firm Hays, majority of the 307 CIOs surveyed, felt that overseas experience was beneficial in a number of ways, including skills, exposure, and building of senior management attributes.

how to become cio in asia

The findings revealed that, of the 44 percent of CIOs with overseas experience, most of time was spent in North America (49 percent).  Other countries where overseas experience was accumulated include: 30 percent in Europe, 19 percent in Australia and New Zealand, 13 percent in Great Britain, and 5 percent in the Middle East and Africa.

The overseas experience was longer than two years for 60 percent of Asian CIOs who worked abroad.

Of the people with overseas experience, a great majority (70 percent) felt their careers benefited considerably because of their experience.  Only an extremely small percentage (3 percent) said that the experience was of little or no benefit.

The trend for CIOs desiring overseas experience is not waning.  Currently, 38 percent of CIOs interviewed for the survey are considering opportunities for experiences outside of Asia.  Again, North America is the most preferred working spot for the highest percentage of CIOs (42 percent), with Europe as the second most desirable (26 percent).  Clearly, Asia’s CIOs look at worldwide experience as an important facet of their resumes.

Of those looking for opportunities outside Asia, 50 percent look at the time in other countries as an important step for career development.  However, there were other reasons why Asia’s CIOs want overseas experience.

  • Over one third looked favorably at the opportunities available in international markets.
  • 34 percent wanted the varied work-life balance available.
  • 26 percent wanted to experience a more multi-dimensional CIO experience not available in Asia.

Asian employers, while appreciating the reasons for CIOs looking to other areas of the world to enhance their experience, are becoming worried that they will lose many talented IT professionals.  The feeling among Asian businesses and employment recruiters, is concern that exposure to different cultures, practices, and cutting edge technology in advanced worldwide markets, will cause “a brain drain at the most senior level.”

Those professionals who do return from overseas experiences, are considered extremely valuable assets to Asian employers, due to their global experience and broader set of soft skills (communication, innovation, and ease of adaptation).

Jobs in Asia with high demand for candidates in 3Q 2016

jobs market in asia 3q2016

Hays released their job market report for various countries in Asia.

The report provides insights into the trends in the job market for the July to September 2016 period. It includes information on the amount of hiring activity expected and which skills are most in demand by employers.

Here are the highlights for different markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and China.


Overall, hiring during the quarter is expected to remain steady in Singapore, even amidst fears of an economic slowdown.

Demand will be highest for professionals with the following skills:

  • Accountancy & Finance: Internal Auditors and Regulatory Reporting professionals.
  • Architecture: Design Architects and Retail & Transportation Architects.
  • Audit, Risk & Compliance: Anti-Money Laundering professionals and Global Markets Experts.
  • Banking & Financial Services: Treasury professionals and Private Banking professionals.
  • Construction: Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors.
  • Engineering: Retail Signalling Engineers and Tunnelling Engineers.
  • Finance Technology: IT Project Managers and Front Office Application Developers.
  • Human Resources: Learning and Development Managers and Talent Management professionals.
  • Information Technology: Cyber Security professionals and IT Project Managers.
  • Insurance: Claims and Underwriting professionals and Business Development Managers for Group Insurance.
  • Life Sciences: Quality Control Managers and Key Account Managers.
  • Procurement & Supply Chain: Category Managers and Procurement Managers.
  • Property: Project Managers and Sustainability Specialists.
  • Sales & Marketing: Digital Marketing Managers and Market Researchers.

To view the entire report for Singapore, along with details for different functions click here.


Steady economic growth will lead to a stable hiring market in Malaysia.

Demand will be highest for professionals with the following expertise:

  • Accountancy & Finance: Financial Regulatory Reporting professionals and Finance Business Partners.
  • Banking & Financial Services: Compliance Managers and Anti-Money Laundering professionals.
  • Contact Centres: Customer Analytics Consultants and Heads of Contact Centre.
  • Finance Technology: Data Analysts and IT Security Managers.
  • Human Resources: Recruitment Partners and Learning and Development Managers.
  • Information Technology: Software Developers and Enterprise Architects.
  • Insurance: Risk Managers and Internal Auditors.
  • Office Professionals: Executive Assistants and Office Managers.
  • Sales & Marketing: Sales and Marketing Managers and Digital Marketing Managers.
  • Supply Chain: Demand Planners and Head of Operations.

To view the entire report for Malaysia, along with tons of detail for different functions click here.


A growing demand from Chinese firms, for e-commerce and banking professionals, is one of the key highlights in the Hong Kong job market.

Demand will be strong for people with the following skills:

  • Accountancy & Finance: Compliance Managers and Accountants.
  • Banking & Financial Services: Risk Specialists and Relationship Managers.
  • Engineering: PLC SCADA Engineers and ELV Engineers.
  • Life Sciences: Regulatory Affairs professionals and Product Specialists.
  • Information Technology: IT Security Managers and Network Engineers.
  • Insurance: Pension Business Development Managers and Channel Development professionals.
  • Procurement: Category Managers and IT Procurement professionals.
  • Property: Engineers with qualifications in E&M and Project Managers.
  • Sales & Marketing: Digital Marketing Managers and E-Commerce professionals.
  • Supply Chain: E-commerce-related Logistics Managers and Regional In-house Logistics Specialists.

To view the entire report for Hong Kong, along with details for different functions click here.


A rise in job creation is expected in many sectors, as a result of market positivity, with especially high levels of hiring activity in the professional services sector.

These are the skills most in demand:

  • Accountancy & Finance: Company Accountants and Financial Controllers, Financial Accountants, Business Analysts, Cost Accountants and Management Accountants.
  • Architecture: Design Architects, Project Architects and Town Planners.
  • Banking: Financial Planners, Client Services Officers, Anti Money Laundering professionals and Compliance professionals.
  • Contact Centres: Telemarketers and Inbound Customer Service.
  • Education: Mathematics Teachers and Science Teachers.
  • Energy: Design Engineers, Renewable Developers, Business Development Managers and Power Generation Engineers.
  • Engineering: Civil and Structural Engineers, Revit Drafters, CAD Operators and 12D Operators.
  • Healthcare: Social Workers, Physiotherapists and Psychologists, as well as experienced Personal Care Assistants and Nurse Managers.
  • Human Resources: HR Business Partners, HR & Payroll Managers and Project Managers.
  • Information Technology: DevOps Engineers, Office 365 Implementation Engineers, Network Security Engineers, UI/UX Front End/Mobile/Web Developers, CRM Developers and .Net Web Developers.
  • Insurance: Life insurance Claims Consultants, Senior Claims Consultants and Senior Underwriters.
  • Legal: Commercial Property and Construction Lawyers.
  • Life Sciences: Clinical Research Associates.
  • Logistics: Logistics, Supply Chain and Warehouse Managers.
  • Manufacturing & Operations: Quality Assurance Managers, Engineering Managers with FMCG experience, Planners and Production Supervisors.
  • Marketing: Marketing Communications professionals, Internal and External Communications Managers, Graphic Designers and Marketing Managers.
  • Office Support: Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Corporate Receptionists.
  • Procurement: Contract Managers, Procurement Managers and Sourcing Specialists.
  • Retail: Merchandise Planners, Merchandise Allocators and Store Managers.
  • Sales: Business Development Managers, Key Account Managers and Account Development Managers.

To view the entire report for Australia, along with details for different functions click here.


The big growth in internet-related businesses will drive a lot of candidate demand in China.

Simon Lance, MD for Hays China, states, “Internet is penetrating nearly all industries in China as innovative and revolutionary products strike a chord with consumers.

In this quarter, candidates with a proven track record of handing online businesses will be actively sought after as most companies speed up their go-digital campaigns to vie for bigger market share.”

Demand will be strong for people with the following skills:

  • Accountancy & Finance: FP&A Managers and Accounting professionals.
  • Banking & Financial Services: Credit Managers, Crisis Managers and Overseas Investment Managers
  • Education: Digital Marketing Managers and Course Designers.
  • Human Resources: Organisation Development Directors and C&B Managers.
  • Information Technology: Data Scientists and Algorithm Researchers.
  • Legal: In-house Advisors and Compliance Managers and Legal Counsels.
  • Life Sciences: Key Account Managers and Research & Development professionals.
  • Manufacturing & Operations: Business Development Managers, Quality Assurance professionals and Operation Managers.
  • Oil & Gas: Sales Managers and Business Development Managers.
  • Sales & Marketing: Social Media Managers and E-commerce Marketing Managers.

To view the entire report for China, along with details for different functions click here.

Here’s where Millennials want to work in Asia

ranking best employers companies in asia pacific

Universum asked over 100,000 Millennial professionals and students, across Asia Pacific, about their ideal employers.

The survey also aimed to find out what attributes they look for when choosing a career/employer. The answer? Achieving work-life balance is now of prime importance.  No longer is job stability or competitive pay the number one characteristic that Millennials look for. 

The following is a breakdown of the results by country:


Surveys taken from over 10,000 people, showed the following results:

For business students/professionals, the top choices are All Nippon Airways, Google, and Itochu Corporation, while Mitsubishi Corporation, Apple, Japan Airlines, and Japan International Cooperation Agency are next in line.  Other popular companies that value “work-life balance” in Japan include Suntory, Toyota Motors, and Shiseido, in that order.

For engineers, the top ten employers from best to worst are Google, Toyota Motors, Sony, Apple, and Suntry, while Ajinomoto, All Nippon Airways, Hitachi, Shiseido, and Microsoft round out the rest.


For Chinese business students/professionals, the top employers include Alibaba, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of China, Huawei, Citi, Deloitte, Apple, and Tencent respectively.

For engineers, their best bet would be, from top to bottom, Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, Google, and Apple. Following those are Baidu, Microsoft, State Grid Corporation of China, Siemens, and the BMW Group.


For people in Singapore these are the top employers.

  • Engineering/Natural Sciences: A*STAR, Google, Singapore Airlines.
  • IT:  Google, Microsoft, Apple.
  • Business: Google, Singapore Airlines, Walt Disney.
  • Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education: Walt Disney, Google, Ministry of Education (MOE).


Unilever is the ideal employer for business students/professionals while Google, Vinamilk, and Samsung follow in its footsteps.  Following that, the next couple of companies include Coca-Cola, Vietnam Airlines, and AEON Group, with Lotte, Vietcombank and BIDV being last in line.

Engineers opt to go to Samsung, PetroVietnam Group,  and FPT, with Viettel, Vinamilk, Google, and Toyota being next in line. Finally, Petrolimex, Microsoft, and Unilever are in the last few places, albeit still some great choices.


For Filipino business peple, Google, Ayala Land, and Microsoft are the top three choices, followed by San Miguel Corporation, Samsung, and Nestlé.  Finally, Ayala Corporation, ABS-CBN Corporation, Intel, and Shell complete the list.

The perfect jobs for engineers are positions at San Miguel Corporation, Bangko Sentral ng Philipinas, and Google, while other companies include Philippine Airlines and Ayala Corporation.   Engineers also like ABS-CBN Corporation, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and EY (SGV & CO.).

This was the first time this study was done in the Philippines, and the results showed that 55 percent voted for “work-life balance,” and 49 percent chose “to be secure and stable in their jobs.”


The most attractive employers for business minds in Indonesia include Bank Indonesia, Kementerian Keuangan Republik Endonesia, Pertamina, Google, Garuda Indonesia, Kementerian Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Unilever, Kementerian Pariwisata and Ekonomi Kreatif, and finally MET Mediatama Indonesia.

The top choices for engineers are Pertamina, Chevron Indonesia, Unilever, Google, Perusahaan Gas Negara, Garuda Indonesia, PLN, and Total E&P.

Here too, the most important career goal is “work-life balance,” coming at 53 percent. A close second is the desire “to be entrepreneurial, creative, or innovative.”


Business students/professionals aim to work at Google, Thai Airways International, and PTT.  They also have a preference for the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Siam Cement Group, GMM Grammy, Thai Air Asia, and LINE Corporation.  The United Nations and Microsoft are also places of interest.

Engineers have a better experience at Google, PTT, Chevron, Siam Cement, Microsoft, EGAT, Thai Airways International, Toyota, BMW Group, and Intel.

Once again, “work-life balance” is chosen as the primary career goal.


In Malaysia Millennials aimed to work for the following companies.

  • Engineering: PETROLIAM Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Shell, Sime Darby.
  • Business/Commerce: Bank Negara Malaysia, PETROLIAM Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Google.
  • Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education: ASTRO, Google, Karangkraf.
  • Natural Sciences: PETROLIAM Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Sime Darby, Shell.


Those in the Engineering and Natural Sciences fields would like to work for CSIRO, Google and the Government – Federal/Commonwealth.

For Business people, the top employers are Google, Apple and Qantas. While professionals in Humanities, Liberal Arts and Education fields prefer the United Nations and the Government Federal/Commonwealth/State.

It is interesting to see that in varying degrees, “work-life balance” was constantly chosen as the number one criteria when deciding on an employer throughout Asia Pacific.  While still a close second overall, “job security” continues to fall as a career goal.


In India, these are the most preferred employers.

  • Engineering/IT: Google, Microsoft, Apple.
  • Business/Commerce: Google, Apple, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Natural Sciences: Google, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Apple.

Pay/salary levels for expatriates in Asia

expatriate salaries in asia 2016

ECA International conducts a survey, to gather information on expatriate compensation around the globe.

To arrive at and compare pay levels for expatriates, they look at the base salary, benefits, allowances and tax rates.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan has the highest pay for expatriates, followed by China, India, Hong Kong and Australia.

Malaysia has the lowest level of expatriate compensation packages in the region.

For more details, trends and insights for different countries, take a look at the charts below and also view articles on ECA’s website.

expatriate salaries in asia 2016

salary levels for expatriate packages in asia

Employees in Singapore have the lowest job satisfaction in Asia

hate job asia

Workday sponsored a study to get a sense of job satisfaction for people in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Malaysia and India.

Here are the highlights:

  • 35% of employees in the Asia Pacific region are moderately satisfied at work and 30% are very satisfied.
  • Countries with the most satisfied staff are the Philippines, followed by India and Australia.
  • People in Malaysia and Singapore have the lowest levels of job satisfaction.
  • 28% of staff in Asia/Pacific are highly likely to change jobs if an opportunity presents itself and 27% are likely to do so.
  • Factors which are most important for employee job satisfaction are compensation and rewards, enjoyment at work and work-life balance.

job satisfaction in asia

asia employee perform better on the job