Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
23 Mar 2012

HR market update - recruitment trends in Asia

23 Mar 2012 • by Changeboard Team

Spotlight on Singapore

The first half of the year saw an expected slow start due to employees staying with organisations to wait out their bonuses and salary reviews.

Although most companies had aggressive revenue targets, they were cautious in terms of hiring, and focused more on up-skilling employees’ capabilities and productivity in the form of training and development.

Hiring levels picked up from March onwards especially after bonuses were paid out. Sectors which hired actively included pharmaceutical, high-tech, industrial and professional services.

Salary increases?

Many candidates were expecting a salary increment of at least 25% upon switching jobs. However on average, salary increases ranged between 12 to 15% across the board as companies focused on cost-saving initiatives.

We expect recruitment levels to be healthy going forward, especially at the middle management level. With their bonuses already paid out, employees are also more likely to look for new job opportunities, thus creating more movement and openings in the market.


The IT&T, pharmaceutical, industrial, financial and professional services sectors are likely to hire actively, with a focus on replacement roles.

HR professionals in demand

HR professionals with both hands-on and strategic experience, as well as the ability to work with multiple stakeholders in a matrix organisation are expected to be sought-after.

Additionally, comp and bens professionals with relationship management skills as well as the ability to influence internal stakeholders will likely command a salary premium.
Salary levels are likely to sustain throughout 2011.

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Click to read the full market update with spotlights on Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Malaysia.