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Robert Walters Releases its Outlook for 2022 Hiring Market

Robert Walters Releases its Outlook for 2022 Hiring Market

Specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters Korea announced the launch of its digital "Salary Survey 2022," which provides a comprehensive insight of hiring trends and salary levels for thousands of roles across 31 countries.

The new digital Salary Survey is packed with helpful tools and resources for hiring managers and job seekers alike, including the latest trends and analysis for all industries, as well as video updates on market conditions. A comprehensive summary of salary levels allows employers to benchmark teams’ salaries and benefits package against industry standard, as well for employees looking for salary negotiation or job searching. It also provides an accurate overview for employers looking for employee achievement and bonus evaluation, to ensure the business remains competitive in the war on talent.

65% of businesses expect to give pay rises in 2022

Key findings from our survey among employers show a majority (65%) expect to give pay rises for all seniority levels this year. Compared to only 7% of businesses in 2021, 24% responded that they would increase salary by 6 to 10 percent this year. Noticeably, entry to mid-level (associate, mid-senior, manager) employees were most likely to receive salary increase among all seniority levels. Regarding expectations for bonuses, both employers (60%) and employees (61%) said that they are expecting a bonus in 2022. Across all seniority levels, most employers plan to provide a bonus between 11 to 15 percent of the total base salary, higher than 6 to 10 percent last year. Higher seniority levels were expected to receive larger size of bonus in relation to the total base salary. Compared to salary and bonus expectations for 2021, both companies and employees are more optimistic for 2022 as global markets recover and the world continues to learn to live with Covid-19.

Employee retention will grow crucial for businesses as talent shortage deepens

Although professionals remained cautious about moving companies in 2021 due to pandemic-induced uncertainty, more and more people will begin to look for new opportunities actively. The talent shortage is expected to deepen in 2022. Our survey showed that almost 70% of employers are concerned with talent shortages in the near future. Over 90% answered that the most acute shortage is among entry and senior levels (assistant and team leader roles). When asked what was the biggest challenge to hiring talent, the top three answers were: “lack of applications/supply of candidates” (55%), “lack of technical qualifications” (53%), and “lack of industry experience” (53%).

Our findings show that employee retention nowadays is not just about salary alone. However, other factors such as professional ambitions, motivation, and alignment with the company vision – such as CSR and sustainability goals – all play a long-term role in retention. According to the Robert Walters Global Employee Insight Survey from July 2021, professionals are increasingly focusing on a company's values. Especially among 31 countries surveyed, professionals in Korea (58%) were most likely to decline a job offer if the employer's position on social and political matters does not align with their own. To attract and retain talent, companies will have to properly and continuously promote their company culture or set of values that companies can provide for their employees. By taking Employee Value Proposition as an essential factor, companies need to communicate their long-term business visions and culture to their employees. Many professionals are also increasingly interested in work-life balance including flexible working hours and remote work options. To provide this, it is imperative to employ effective contact-free communication. Survey findings show that companies are trying to retain employees by “improved employee benefits” (58%), “increased well-being initiatives” (55%), and “improved learning and development” (53%). However, it is important to remember that a standard set of offers and similar perks are generally offered by other companies as well; businesses will need to consider a unique EVP to stand out from the crowd. It is imperative to keep retention rates high, especially for skilled jobs where the cost of hiring a new employee is high.


In response to the survey results, JunWon Choi, Country Director at Robert Walters Korea, commented: “For employee retention, companies should streamline and expedite the hiring process and make use of the online interviews when possible. Also, fast feedback is essential. Candidate-driven markets like the tech industry have even simplified their hiring process by minimising coding skills tests for this very reason. As a significant portion of work is done without physical contact, a sense of belonging has become even more important. Thus, HR Managers and Executives need to communicate with employees with an open mind." 


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