Positive salary outlook for 2012

Despite the subdued economy, salary outlook for the next 12 months remains positive, says a global management consultancy. 

In a report released today, the Hay Group said it expects average salary increases for 2012 to be 4.4 percent. 

It says actual average salary increases were also 4.4 percent for 2011. 

Victor Chan who is the Group's Regional General Manager says firms may be riding on a strong 2010. 

"Given that last year's salary increase number was at 3.4 % clearly we are recovering from the previous financial crisis and we've seen an increase trend since 2009 which was at an all time low of 2.3 %. So even though we're seeing an increase trend, this increase is quite marginal. This is riding off a strong business year for most organisations in Singapore." 

The top two sectors with the highest salary increases are Banking and Financial Services as well as Transportation. 

The Hay Group says to thrive in the current global economic uncertainty, companies have to differentiate their reward and employee engagement initiatives for high-performing talent. 

It surveyed more than 480 Singapore-based companies, local and foreign-owned from both the private and public sectors. 

They were polled on their business sentiments and salary and bonus projections for the next 12 months. 

The Hay Group report said the forecast for average variable bonus payout for the coming 12 months was 2.7 months. 

In another employment survey released today, employers report weaker hiring prospects in the first quarter next year. 

Global recruitment firm Manpower, indicated that only 21 per cent of employers forecast an increase in staffing levels. 

Strong hiring intentions are evident in the services, and transport and utilities sector. 

Linda Teo, Country Manager of Manpower Singapore encouraged companies not to hire more than necessary. 

"If you have any business needs, if it's possible hire contract staff as compared to permanent staff, because the moment when the economic climate change, it'll be easier to react in terms of letting go of contract staff rather than permanent staff."