Technology Sector Hiring And Pay Remains Steady In Major Asia Pacific Markets

Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc and Radford, a part of Aon Hewitt, have published the latest talent and rewards trends in the technology sector across Asia Pacific.

With global economic growth declining this year, mainly due to slower growth in emerging markets, Asia's largest markets are experiencing very different growth trajectories. Global GDP is now forecast at 3.1% for 2015, a decline from 3.4% in 2014 and economic growth across Asia and the developing markets is overall slower than anticipated.

In Asia's two largest emerging markets, China and India, the paces of economic growth follow their own patterns. China's economic growth rate has been steadily declining from the double-digits last experienced in 2007 to a planned "new normal" of less than 7% as it rebalances its economy to more sustainable growth levels.

At the same time, India's economy has rebounded from a low point of less than 4% GDP growth in 2008 with a steady acceleration, bringing it to a forecasted GDP growth rate of 7.3% for 2015. For other Asian economies, changes in GDP growth are more subtle. Japan, while dipping into a recession last year, may grow marginally this year. The five countries of ASEAN as a group may see growth of 4.6%, the same as last year.

Within global economic flux, what is happening in the technology sector, and what does it mean for hiring, employee turnover and salary increases?

The technology industry continues on its rapid pace of innovation, disruption and creating new ventures through expansion and consolidation, industry convergence, and start-up activity. Spurred by advances in mobile, social networking, cloud, and e-commerce, the technology industry is experiencing a third wave of evolution characterized as the Internet of Things.

Olivier Maudière, director at Radford, said, "Adding to this dynamic from a talent perspective are changing employee demographics and expectations about careers and how work gets done, enhanced by increased mobility and diversity of global talent. Increasingly in many emerging markets, foreign multinationals compete with leading local companies and start-ups as to who can offer the most attractive employee value proposition. This is especially true of the technology sector in Asia Pacific."

On a global basis, 40% of technology companies expect to increase the size of their workforce over the next 12 months. Hiring will be strongest in the Internet/e-commerce and software sectors, where 50% of companies expect to hire and half of those plan to increase headcount by more than 15%.

Geographically, the most aggressive hiring is planned for the US, China and India; the countries that are among the largest markets and largest hubs for technical talent.

Ten percent of companies plan aggressive hiring in China, while close to 20% of companies plan aggressive hiring in the US and India.

In Singapore, APAC regional headquarters to a large number of multinationals, normal or selective hiring is planned, with only 6% of companies planning for aggressive hiring or growth.

The flip side of hiring is voluntary employee turnover or attrition. Where there is more job opportunity, employee turnover tends to be higher. Voluntary employee turnover is running at about 11% in the US and China; in India, it is higher at 14%, while slightly lower in Singapore at 10%. However, turnover varies by industry sector, Internet/e-commerce is highest, and type of job.

Overall salary increase budgets for 2016 are forecast at similar levels as in 2015. That means a continued 8% to 9% in China, 10% to 11% in India, and 4% to 5% in Singapore.


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