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2021 salary and trends report for Hong Kong

2021 salary and trends report for Hong Kong


How much should you be earning? From HR to banking, take a look at this 2021 salary guide categorised by industry for Hong Kong. 

The past 18 months, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have put a tight squeeze on employers and and employees alike. Links International's 2021 Salary Guide for Hong Kong breaks down employee trends for the year.

According to the 2021 salary guide, Hong Kong’s 2021 corporate salary increments are generally expected to be lower than 0% – 4% on average in 2021 (lower than 2020), even with Hong Kong reporting a drop in unemployment to 5% last week.

However as companies rapidly move towards digitalisation, some in-demand functions like IT and healthcare can expect to see average salary increases of up to 7.5% in Hong Kong, while in Singapore we're likely to see up to a 9% increase (without changing jobs).

As businesses were forced into flexible working arrangements throughout the pandemic, this has become one of the key factors for candidates when choosing a new a job in 2021 and beyond as we emerge out of the pandemic. A large number of workers want a form of hybrid remote working moving forward. Offering flexible working will be increasingly important if businesses want to continue attracting the best talent.

Human resources, administration & business

Th overall pandemic situation globally will have significant impact on the HR and administration functions. While those HR can expect minimal salary increments, HR digitisation will continue its rapid trajectory. Companies are increasingly looking to outsource some of their HR functions to improve costs and business efficiency. 

Salaries anticipated in the HR function (per month):


Banking, finance & accounting

One heavy-hit sector of 2021, companies in this sector will focus on retaining talent in 2021 or expand conservatively, and are likely to take a wait and see approach to filling vacancies or hiring talent that better aligns with the company's future plans. It is also one of the sectors that can expect a one of the fastest recoveries as one of the main drivers of Hong Kong's economy.

Salaries anticipated in the banking, finance and accounting functions (per month):


Information & technology

IT talent remains a hot commodity in Hong Kong especially among employers looking for specific experiences. IT salaries are expected to stay pretty stable in 2021 with employees also seeking stability and industry exposure rather than change in the job market. Companies who are able to demonstrate their corporate potential could find opportunities in hiring talent within a budget rather than relying on a heavy pay-out.

Salaries anticipated in the information & technology function (per month):


Sales & marketing

Technology is changing traditional sales functions as most consumer brands move increasingly to online retailing. This will redefine the relationship between sales and IT where sales reps will have increasing input in tech-related decisions. Sales and marketing professionals can expect limited salary increments with bonuses also unlikely except for top performing sales positions. Overall, most people are unwilling to change jobs at this time, with large and economically stable companies seen as more attractive.

Salaries anticipated in the sales & marketing function (per month):


Sourcing, supply chain and manufacturing

Traditional roles such as sourcing and merchandising are unlikely to see a pay increase while some people could even expect pay cuts. Bonuses will also be affected as they will be issued based on performance rather than as a discretionary bonus. We will continue to see the trends in 2021 as COVID-19 continues affect supply chains the world over. 

Salaries anticipated in the sourcing, supply chain and manufacturing functions (per month):



Life sciences & healthcare

With COVID-19 still fluctuating globally, despite the roll out of vaccinations, the world is on high alert as we enter another quarter of the pandemic. This means a sustained increase in the demand for health and life sciences workers, especially in Hong Kong with the healthcare system being stretched even before the pandemic. As startups in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech maintain steady growth in Hong Kong, talent in the health industry is in high demand and the demand will continue to grow.

Salaries anticipated in the life sciences and healthcare functions (per month):


ALSO READ71% of Hong Kong employees say their bosses want them to return to work

Lead image / 123RF
All other photos / Supplied by Links International

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

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