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Balancing Wage Pressure with Career Development Strategies

An overall shortage of talent in Greater China creates upward pressure on salaries. As a result, talented professionals based on the mainland often receive significant salary increases. In fact, more than 60 % of the mainland employers we surveyed this year expect to offer salary increases of 6% to 10%. Even in the more developed market of Hong Kong, upward pressure on pay remains strong, especially in pillar industries such as banking and finance.

In such an environment, organisations must balance large salary increases given for external hires with the more moderate pay increases awarded to internal staff. Managing this pay gap is critical, since failure to do so will inevitably result in people leaving because of dissatisfaction with what they perceive as a stagnant wage structure.

At the same time, however, employers should not feel that they must raise salaries simply to compete with other companies. Many businesses avoid this trap by emphasising career development and building long-term career paths for their top employees. Traditionally, this has been more effective in some parts of the region than in others. For example, one salient distinction between Hong Kong and the mainland is that talented professionals based on the mainland know they can command significant salary increases each time they change jobs, and so are generally more willing to move for a short-term gain. In Hong Kong, by contrast, jobseekers tend to be more interested in following a longer-term career path. Hong Kong companies respond by investing in career development strategies.

For full details see the 2015 Greater China Salary & Employment outlook report.