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Over 1,000 finance professionals say what will keep them with their current employer

Salary trends being driven in part by the rise of privately owned companies


Updated: 14 Apr 2016
One in two finance industry employees say career progression will stop them from looking for a new job outside their current organisation, according to a survey of over 1,000 of China’s finance jobseekers.
The survey, by recruiting experts Hays and Zhaopin, one of the leading online employment sites in China, asked 1066 jobseekers where they were based, previous number of employers and what it would take for them to remain with their current employer. The results provide insights into why China has a relatively high staff turnover rate compared to other countries. We also looked at the available jobs in the finance and banking sector to compare salary trends in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
“Our results show that in China salary is still a major factor in retaining staff. However, Chinese employees are increasingly looking for career progression. They want to feel valued, supported and be offered training and development opportunities so they can seek new challenges with their existing employer,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.
“In order to avoid the high cost of unfilled vacancies and lost productivity that occurs when employees resign, companies in China should now be focusing less on candidate attraction and more on retaining their key people, with career development plans as well as salary central to this. In terms of what is impacting salaries, although Chinese economic growth is slowing, the rise of privately owned companies is an obvious phenomenon which is driving salary increases in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.
The key findings from the survey are as follows:
  • Two in every three employees (67 per cent) had a relatively short tenure of two years or less in their last job. Meanwhile 71 per cent of respondents have been in their current job for two years or less.
  • A total of 69 per cent of respondents will ask for a pay rise in the next 12 months. Eight per cent will not and the final 23 per cent are unsure at this stage if they will ask for a raise. Of those who said yes, 54 per cent indicated that they had expectations of a pay rise of 16 per cent or above.
  • Salary expectations for those changing jobs are even higher, with 28 per cent of respondents saying that they would look for a salary raise of 31 per cent or more in their next role.
  • When asked why they were looking for a new job, 53 per cent of job seekers cited a lack of career progression as a major reason, only slightly behind salary (54 per cent). Other reasons included lack of training and development opportunities (39 per cent), seeking new challenges (36 per cent), poor management (31 per cent) and poor work/life balance (25 per cent).
  • Salaries in Tier 2 cities are now very competitive compared to Tier 1 for certain finance professionals – and in some cases even outperform Tier 1 salaries.
  • As more Chinese corporations are successfully listing on overseas stock exchanges, confidence levels remain high in the market for Fund/Investment/Securitiesprofessionals. The average Tier 1 city salary is 20 per cent higher than in a Tier 2 city.
  • The report shows that overall salary increases have led to some senior finance professionals relocating outside the major financial centres in China, especially for Branch Managers in corporate banking. Average salaries for Branch and Deputy Branch Managers in Tier 2 cities are 25% higher than in Tier 1 cities. We also expect to see more back office roles become available in Tier 2 cities as banks continue to centralise their operations. 
  • Job seekers are most likely to look for these roles in Shanghai (20 per cent), Beijing (16 per cent) and Shenzhen (13 per cent). Our findings also reveal that some respondents are looking to move to Tier 2 cities such as Chengdu (3.3 per cent) and Suzhou (6 per cent).
“Respondents also expressed a number of expectations about what their future employer should provide including an individualised career and development plan, performance appraisal, and promotion based on merit rather than seniority or years of experience,” says Simon.
The recruiter says employees also expect their future employer to have a stable company culture, transparent communications, innovative products and strong managers who give clear direction. In addition, they would like their manager to be fair, trustworthy, professional, wise and to give staff recognition when they perform well.
For more, see the Hays/Zhaopin report ‘China’s Finance Industry: Salary trends and talent retention.’
In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.