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Robert Walters Korea has released Salary Survey 2020

• 21st edition of the annual Salary Survey gives insight into top roles in demand and salary information across industries in 2020 • Employers are advised to adopt efficient hiring processes and provide development opportunities as top talent is highly open to changing jobs

According to the Salary Survey 2020 released by Robert Walters Korea on February 5, hiring by foreign companies is expected to be buoyant in areas of biotechnology, autonomous driving, rechargeable battery and semiconductor sectors in 2020. These so-called “new” industries, which are the focus of the Korean government, drew exceptional attention from foreign investors and thus will present a range of opportunities for those who wish to move to a new employer in these areas. 

Robert Walters Korea observed a rise in demand for RAQA managers, HEOR/GA/MA specialists and AI engineers in the biotechnology sector. Expertise in pharmaceuticals/medical devices is important as these professionals are expected to have an accurate grasp of the ever-changing government regulations and to engage in flexible communication with relevant authorities for approval and price negotiation. Replacements for these positions cannot be found overseas as regulations vary in different countries, and individuals who bring a diverse range of experience are preferred.

As global companies in the autonomous driving sector are joining forces to develop new technologies, employers will have to vie for bilingual data scientists, deep learning and autonomous system platform specialists. With greater focus on electric cars, demand for talent in the lithium-ion battery market is high. Employers are especially on the lookout for senior-level technical sales representatives and application developers with five to ten years of experience. The semiconductor industry is expected to recover after a downturn, with an increasing number of companies now seeking to acquire foreign companies and establish joint ventures. Demand for SoC Design Engineers for high value-added core technologies will be sought after with the introduction of IoT platforms and smart factories.

Following this hiring trend among foreign companies, bilingual professionals who are open to changing jobs stood high at 94%. Most of these professionals stay in the same organization for three to five years, and their top motivators to move jobs are: a pay rise/change in compensation package (34%), career progression (23%), and improved work-life balance (13%). Such an outcome can be attributable to their familiarity with performance-based appraisal system. Hence those working in foreign companies tend to put more weight on a workplace environment that encourages employee initiatives and compensation for their performance rather than leisure time.

“To be proactive in securing top talent, employers are advised to reduce time to hire by making their hiring process faster and more efficient and also offer clear learning programs and career development opportunities that help candidates become leading professionals in their fields,” said Duncan Harrison, Country Manager of Robert Walters Korea.

The global hiring market in 2019 was predominantly influenced by the global landscape and digital transformations across many industries. Increased uncertainties brought about by Brexit impacted hiring in the UK. The US-China trade war forced Chinese manufacturers to move specific aspects of production to South East Asia, which impacted hiring. We expect to see continued high demand for tech professionals with expertise in big data, AI, and cyber security. As regulatory requirements become stricter, companies will actively seek for risk and compliance professionals.

Now in its 21st edition, the Robert Walters annual Salary Survey has provided the most comprehensive review of professional salaries and recruitment trends around the world since 2000. Building on the salary data of candidates who made a successful career move through Robert Walters, the Salary Survey offers the most reliable, up-to-date information across multiple industries and roles.


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*For other inquiries, please contact below.

Noo Ree Lee, Senior Marketing Executive (02-6454-7030)

Ally Kim, Marketing Assistant (02-6454-7009)



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