Information technology salaries are on the rise across the Asia Pacific, with the upward trend expected to continue through 2011, according to the latest Technology salary survey by recruitment specialists Robert Half International.
The firm's inaugural 2010-2011 Technology salary survey states: "Overall, the Asia Pacific technology industry is experiencing strong growth and employers need to be prepared to respond to this environment in order to succeed."
The survey was carried out in July -- August 2010 and attracted respondents from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.
"An improvement in economic conditions and general business confidence has led to greater investment in technology projects across the Asia Pacific," the report said, "especially as companies increase the emphasis on upgrading technology to improve business performance and get ahead of the competition."
The study found that, as a result, the technology industry is gaining confidence, with 41 per cent of Asia Pacific technology workers enjoying a salary increase over the last year, largely due to the rising demand for skilled technology staff in the wake of a tight employment market.
Hong Kong benefits most
The survey fund that Hong Kong employees benefited the most from the upswing, with more than half (56 per cent) receiving a pay increase.
It said: "Following a series of pay freezes during the downturn, employees are now feeling restless and those that are unsatisfied with their pay will begin to explore other options. Employers are recognising this too, with 70 per cent concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year."
After a turbulent period, the Robert Half research found that Hong Kong's technology employment market is rebounding, with the majority (79 per cent) of employers planning to hire in the next six months.
Of all employees across the Asia Pacific region, those in Hong Kong are the most likely to leave their current employer, as 86 per cent of the respondents believe it is necessary to switch jobs in order to gain greater bargaining power in salary negotiations.
The research found that attracting and retaining talent are key business concerns for the Singapore technology industry and that Lion City companies are focusing on increasing staff levels with more than three quarters (78 per cent) planning to hire in the next six months.
Singapore fears losing top performers
"While attracting talent is a significant challenge, retaining talent is also proving to be a real issue for employers in Singapore, with a high proportion (78 per cent) concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year," the report stated.
Singapore's economy is still recovering and, the report said, for many companies, salary freezes are still in place, with 40 per cent having had no change in income over the past 12 months.
The Robert Half report warned that "many [Singapore] companies are unable to offer pay rises or bonuses due to market uncertainty, and as such risk losing their staff to overseas markets".
"In order to prevent this, employers need to ensure that they have appropriate retention strategies in place, such as offering reduced working hours or other non-financial incentives."