Towers Perrin has projected continuing moderate salary growth in most countries next year, despite expectations for slowing economic growth in some markets. A survey of more than 900 companies across 12 markets in the Asia-Pacific region found that absolute growth rates are projected to be slightly higher in 2008 than in 2007. On average, the financial services sector is expected to continue to experience the largest increases in 2008. The report also tracked budgeted salary increases by employee group. The year-on-year changes suggest that the market for production and support staff is heating up in Asia and globally, and will catch up with the markets for other employee groups in many countries. Furthermore, with increasing budgets in 2008, a vast majority of companies (more than 70 per cent) are also expecting to allocate a larger portion of the budget to high performers. “Competitive reward practices still remain critical to attracting their workforces across all geographies. However, employers also need to understand the elements beyond pay to retaining and engaging their workforce,” said Tania Mendez, Asia-Pacific compensation database manager.
Financial services needs reference checking
Financial services businesses should act now to introduce new reference-checking practices or risk becoming a dumping ground for ‘bad apples’, according to compliance expert and Clayton Utz partner Randal Dennings. It was critical for HR directors and others involved in recruitment in the financial services industry to start implementing a new industry-wide reference-checking framework, according to Dennings. Together with Clayton Utz senior associate Andrew Cardell-Ree, Dennings devised the reference-checking framework as a solution to the growing problem of financial services businesses discovering they had employed ‘bad apples’– individuals who pose a compliance risk to a business by not following sound processes and procedures – and being unable to do anything about it, including warn other businesses. “In a tight labour market, it is understandable that a financial services entity might unintentionally undertake perfunctory reference checks on employees and then have to deal with the consequences later on,” Cardell-Ree said.
Three-quarters of IT professionals think they’re ‘hot’
Seventy-two per cent of IT professionals consider their skills as ‘hot’ or ‘in demand’, while 78 per cent are planning to change or would consider changing jobs in the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by Chandler Macleod’s IT recruitment arm, Diversiti. The key motivation driving IT professionals to move to other roles is the desire to accelerate their career progression. The majority of respondents changed jobs every 12–18 months, with 55 per cent having worked for three or four different companies in the past five years. Furthermore, IT professionals were keen to work with recruiters able to provide individual long-term career support and guidance to help them rapidly ascend the career ladder. In fact, 78 per cent saw a need for recruiters to act as talent agents working on their behalf, rather than the traditional client-focused approach which still dominates recruitment. Many respondents expressed a strong wish to work with recruiters and employers who genuinely understand their unique skill sets, in order to achieve their individual career goals, according to Robert Stummer, NSW general manager for Diversiti.