2010 Quarter 1 Salaries Remain Stable Despite Market Growth

The Chapman Consulting Group has released its Quarter1 Salary Report figures for HR positions in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing. What the latest results show is that, on average, salaries showed relatively minor increase in Quarter 1, after growth in Quarters 3 and 4, 2009. The results of the survey are based on salary figures for HR hires to be made in Quarter 1 as well as projected salary adjustments indicated by our HR alumni around the region.

“Many companies have played catch-up with salary adjustments in Quarter 1, after minimal increases during 2009. However, as a general rule we will see fewer adjustments being made in Quarter 2, despite the recent uptick in the hiring market, as companies are still being conservative in how they pay”, says Matthew Chapman, Managing Director of The Chapman Consulting Group. Chapman says that most companies are avoiding paying sign-on bonuses when hiring new talent. “We noticed some of the banks paying sign-on bonuses, to entice particularly OD/Learning and C&B talent away from their current employers, but outside of banking it has been less common.”

A neutralising factor to significant salary growth in the current buoyant market has been the oversupply of HR talent (looking for jobs) in some markets around the region, particularly Japan and Australia, and to a lesser extent Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam markets have remained as tight as ever for exceptional HR talent and salaries continue to rise for top performers.

As reported in our Quarter 4 2009 Salary Report, the compensation and benefits specialisation and the learning and OD space are seeing sharp increases. This is particularly true for companies making new hires. “The demand for high quality compensation and benefits practitioners in the regional markets of Singapore and Hong Kong is the tightest we’ve ever seen”, said Chapman. Chapman says that companies are shopping for value for money when making HR hires. “There is a definite sense amongst clients that we are currently hiring for that a strong business case needs to be made if the remuneration of a potential hire is outside the norm” mentions Chapman. “The most common solution is to go for a high potential individual who can ‘step up’ and take on more in the future, rather than hire an expensive heavy-hitter who may soon run out of runway on the career ladder”.



The Chapman Consulting Group publishes an HR salary report each quarter covering the principal markets of the Asia Pacific Japan region. This report is based on discussions with HR practitioners across the region during the months of February and March 2010.


The figures used are for guaranteed fixed cash (base salary plus guaranteed bonus) and excludes any discretionary payment (such as variable bonus, stock options) as well as allowances. This report should be taken as a guide only. The Chapman Consulting Group bears no responsibility for errors or omissions therein.


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