Communications salaries and bonuses remain subdued in Singapore / Hong Kong

Recruitment firm also reveals in-house teams are making more junior hires

Emma Dale, co-founder and managing director at Prospect
Emma Dale, co-founder and managing director at Prospect

SINGAPORE / HONG KONG - PR salaries in Singapore and Hong Kong are not reflecting the steady demand in hiring, while bonuses in the majority of corporate communications teams are remaining "similarly low" to 2014.

In the latest Asia Market Update published by specialist communications recruitment firm Prospect, candidates are advised that just 13 percent of employees in Singapore can expect a salary increase of 6 percent or more in 2015.

Salary increases in Hong Kong are, and will remain, much more subdued. Around 64 percent of employers in Hong Kong increased salaries between 3 and 6 percent.

Meanwhile bonuses for the majority of corporate communications teams have stayed at 2014’s low levels.
"Market expectations around bonuses have been tempered by the market conditions over the past few years and while some candidates have been disappointed that their bonuses have not seen an increase, many candidates are no longer surprised by such announcements," states the study.

"Top communications performers in many firms have typically received 20 to 40 percent bonus at the senior end (VP and above) and 10 to 20 percent at the junior level (AVP and below). Bonuses have appeared much stronger on the ‘buy side’ of financial services amongst communications professionals. We have seen rare cases of bonuses in excess of 50 percent for the very top performers in their field," it adds.

In terms of recruitment trends, the financial and professional services sector has a sustained recruitment drive in employee communications and employee engagement so far in 2015.

"This is spawning an ‘inside-out’ approach to communications focused on addressing company culture and communicating with employees before engaging external audiences," according to the report. "We have also seen a huge rise in demand for digital and social media skills within business across both Hong Kong and Singapore so far this year."

Prospect has also identified what it has coined ‘juniorisation’, where in-house clients are commonly making replacement hires with a more junior level candidate to facilitate the same role.

"This is due to greater restrictions on budget for replacement hires and more of a long-term view from businesses regarding the development of their staff and offering their employees more of a career path. Many firms also see a resignation as a chance to re-evaluate the function of a role particularly if someone has been in it for a long time."

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