Technology Companies Report Hiring Slowdown in Asia Pacific

Aon plc
  • In Singapore, the percentage of technology companies planning for increased headcount remains steady at 6.0%.
  • Salary increase budgets remain steady in Singapore at 4.0% but are forecasted to be higher in India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea.


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 21 November 2019 - Workforce trends data at technology companies across Asia-Pacific reflect a cautious hiring environment in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the prior quarter, according to the Radford Global Technology Survey. Radford is part of the Rewards Solutions practice at Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions.


In many countries throughout the region aggressive hiring declined, most notably in India, where the demand for technology talent was robust in previous quarters. Despite the dip in hiring, India remains the top market for technology company growth with 12.1% of companies planning aggressive hiring. In Singapore, the percentage of technology companies planning for increased headcount remained steady at 6.0%. On the low end is Taiwan with only 1.9% of companies ramping up hiring. China is experiencing a slight rebound in hiring after last quarter's slowdown amid an ongoing trade war with the U.S.


Percentage of Technology Companies Reporting Aggressive Hiring Plans

 

Q2 2019

Q3 2019

Direction

Australia

8.5%

7.0%

-

China

7.0%

8.5%

+

Hong Kong

3.6%

3.4%

-

India

18.4%

12.1%

-

Japan

7.3%

5.9%

-

Malaysia

1.4%

2.9%

+

Philippines

4.3%

3.9%

-

Singapore

6.0%

6.0%

No Change

South Korea

2.6%

3.7%

+

Taiwan

2.5%

1.9%

-

Source: Radford Global Technology Survey Quarterly Workforce Trends Report, Q3 2019


As technology companies across Asia-Pacific pull back on hiring, we find that voluntary turnover has decreased in all markets except for India. Voluntary turnover dropped in Singapore from 14.7% to 12.9%. Average voluntary turnover among technology companies in Asia-Pacific is 12.2%; across the globe, it's 13.3%.


Trend lines often converge between turnover and hiring. When the technology sector is in a slower state of growth, employees are less likely to switch jobs. At the same time, the decrease in turnover can also be attributed to businesses improving retention through more compelling rewards programmes, such as adding equity eligibility further down the organisation or increasing short- or long-term incentive targets for critical job roles and/or high-performing employees.


Average Voluntary Employee Turnover at Technology Companies

 

Q2 2019

Q3 2019

Direction

Australia

13.8%

13.6%

-

China

14.2%

13.6%

-

Hong Kong

13.9%

13.6%

-

India

13.4%

14.4%

+

Japan

10.9%

 9.0%

-

Malaysia

15.3%

14.2%

-

Philippines

14.3%

12.0%

-

Singapore

14.7%

12.9%

-

South Korea

11.8%

 9.7%

-

Taiwan

9.1%

 8.7%

-

Source: Radford Global Technology Survey Quarterly Workforce Trends Report, Q3 2019


A final data-point we examine is salary increase budgets. The Radford Global Technology Survey reports that technology companies are planning salary increase budgets for 2020 that are on par with, or slightly higher than, 2019 actual reported spending budgets. Salary increase budgets remain steady in Singapore at 4.0% but are forecasted to be higher in India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea.


Median Overall Salary Increase Budgets

 

2019 Actual

2020 Planned

Direction

Australia

3.3%

3.2%

-

China

7.0%

7.0%

No Change

Hong Kong

4.0%

4.0%

No Change

India

10.0%

10.2%

+

Japan

2.8%

2.9%

+

Malaysia

5.1%

5.3%

+

Philippines

5.8%

6.0%

+

Singapore

4.0%

4.0%

No Change

South Korea

4.5%

4.6%

+

Taiwan

4.0%

4.0%

No Change


Source: Radford Global Technology Survey Quarterly Workforce Trends Report, Q3 2019


As companies put the brakes on aggressive hiring, this is an opportunity for HR leaders to examine their rewards programmes and ensure they resonate with current employees to keep top talent engaged, says Alexander Krasavin, Partner and Head of Technology and Life Sciences for the Asia, Pacific and Middle East regions, in the Rewards Solutions practice at Aon. "The annual merit increase is an important component of a total rewards package, but many employees view this as an entitlement," Krasavin says. "To make your merit budget go further, consider differentiating merit increases even more and leveraging long-term incentives to reward performance."



About Rewards Solutions

The Rewards Solutions practice at Aon empowers business leaders to reimagine their approach to rewards in the digital age through a powerful mix of data, analytics and advisory capabilities. Our colleagues support clients across a full spectrum of needs, including compensation benchmarking, pay and workforce modelling, and expert insights on rewards strategy and plan design. To learn more, visit: rewards.aon.com.


About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance. For further information, please visit https://apac.aonhewitt.com.