2009 Quarter 2 HR Salary and Economic Outlook Report: Movements in HR Salaries Not Predictable Across the Region

The Chapman Consulting Group this week released the 2009 Quarter 2 Salary Report for the Human Resources profession across Asia Pacific Japan. Our salary report is based on collective discussions during March and April 2009 with HR practitioners based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney.

Our salary report highlights the average base salary band for HR Head, HR Business Partner, Resourcing, Compensation and Benefits, Organisational Development and HR Operations talent in both regional and local positions in the above locations. The bands synthesise both current salaries that HR practitioners are being paid in their existing jobs, plus salaries being offered for new HR positions.

Average HR salaries in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo look set to slightly decrease across both generalist and specialist HR positions. This is on the back of minor salary decreases which were also experienced in the January to March Quarter of this year. “Expectations are that due to the greater supply of HR practitioners currently in the market, coupled with proportionally fewer jobs, HR salaries on average will decrease approximately 3-5 % in the second quarter of 2009”, said Matthew Chapman, Managing Director of The Chapman Consulting Group. “Part of this is being driven by the open-mindedness of some talent now on the market to accept lower salaries due to their eagerness to resume employment”, said Chapman.

Chapman continued to comment that there are of course exceptions to the above, and that his firm was still seeing corporations paying above-market rates for exceptional talent in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. At the moment both the Compensation and Benefits and HR Business Partner skill-sets are recording small increases in salary in isolated instances.

HR salaries in Australia, which saw a 5-10% drop in the January to March Quarter of 2009, are not set to show further drops in the April to June period. Some hiring appears to have resumed, particularly for HR leadership roles, and this has pushed up the top-end of the salary range for Country and Regional Head positions.

China HR salaries have risen on average 2%, since our January to March Quartery Salary Report. The increases seem to have been reflected right across the board in all HR specialisations. “Despite the unpredictable market sentiment, our sense is that multinationals continue to hire in China – especially with key HR positions. The demand for the absolute best quality HR talent continues to cause HR salary ranges to creep upwards”, said Chapman.



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 March 2009 and April 2009.


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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