What a busy year 2019 has been, with our Frazer Jones team facilitating 1,650 HR appointments globally across a variety of industry sectors, resulting in another record year.
In light of these results, we continue to invest in our APAC team, which now consists of 18 HR search professionals spread across Singapore, Hong Kong & Australia with full coverage across the region (including key locations such as; China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia etc.). We have also invested heavily in growing our global executive search practice, with specialist teams on the ground in each region managing ED, MD & C-Suite HR searches.
From a market perspective, whilst hiring levels in APAC as a whole are starting to show signs of slowing down, demand for qualified and experienced HR professionals remains high nonetheless as they continue to support and drive board decisions & ongoing transformation. According to Willis Towers Watson APAC 2019 compensation survey, the average internal salary increased circa 6% due to general enhanced business performance. Salary premiums are primarily being channelled to the top 10% performers or those with specialist technical skills. Those making an external move will likely incur more sizeable salary uplifts depending upon the seniority and scope of the role.
HR Leaders today must meet the digital aspirations of the CEO in response to digital disruption, as well as addressing the needs of the workforce, while transforming the HR function to be a more efficient and strategic partner to the business. As a result, HR Leaders are reviewing operating models and transforming workforce processes, policies and practices; becoming more agile in market uncertainty. Those HR professionals who are able to flex their skills & adjust to the changing market conditions can command a premium salary.
Talent Acquisition Relationship Managers have remained in high demand, overseeing the delivery of sizable offshore sourcing teams while managing stakeholders internally. As businesses continue to restructure and consolidate, ER Directors, OD Specialists and Business Partners have been key in driving HR change activities. The role of Reward, Compensation and Benefits Specialists are growing with an enhanced focus on areas such as governance, regulation, wellbeing and offshoring HR Services which has led to increased hiring in this space. There has also been a slightly more noticeable shift from our customers on ensuring local talent is fairly represented, cultivated and developed within key specialist & senior roles, while still welcoming global talent where specialist skills gaps may remain.
With 2020 upon us, we anticipate hiring volumes and indeed salaries will remain relatively conservative due to the general cautious business outlook. Our customers continue to focus on attracting, retaining and developing their workforces. Similarly, automation, digitalisation and innovation remain challenges high on boardroom agendas. Tech & FinTech firms appear to have the most optimistic hiring plans at present, whereas financial services organisations are generally focusing on consolidation, governance and innovation to compete with the Tech/FinTech challenger firms, which are being projected to generate $38bn in southeast Asia by 2025.
Nonetheless, HR departments will have another busy year ahead of them with; an enhanced employee & customer experience (putting the ‘human’ back in to HR), people analytics, technology and D&I, health & wellbeing firmly being key topics of discussion.
The Frazer Jones HR team would like to thank you for your ongoing support and partnership throughout 2019 and we look forward to an even better 2020! If you need any salary benchmarking, HR hiring support or simply want an update on the market, feel free to reach out to our team directly.
Happy New Year!