Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am

Working longer hours? You aren’t alone


Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Over the past 12 months only 15 per cent of employers in China managed to decrease overtime and extra hours in their organisation, which is slightly more than in the rest of Asia where only 13 per cent were able to cut overtime, says recruiting experts Hays in China.   

Instead, 35 per cent of employers in China increased overtime (above the Asian average of 31 per cent). 

The findings, revealed in the recruiter’s 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide, show that of the 35 per cent of employers in China who increased overtime, almost half (44 per cent) did so by five hours or less per week. A further 39 per cent said overtime was up five to 10 hours per week, and the final 17 per cent said overtime was up by more than 10 hours each week.  

29 per cent of employers in China (far fewer than the 45 per cent average for Asia) said their employees were not paid for these additional hours. Instead, 50 per cent of employers in China (compared to 35 per cent in Asia) said employees were paid for overtime, while the final 21 per cent (20 per cent in Asia) gave other forms of reward, such as time off in lieu.  

“Steady hiring demand will continue in China across most sectors and industries in the year ahead, but employers report a gap between the skills that they are looking for and the skills available in the local labour market,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia. 

“Add the high number (72 per cent) of employers who expect their levels of business activity to increase in the year ahead, and it’s no wonder that more employers are increasing than decreasing overtime levels in their organisation.  

“If not managed carefully, overtime has the potential to cause workplace stress and employee burnout. In many of the organisations that have increased overtime, there could be a very good business case for adding permanent headcount or using a temporary staffing solution to get you through peak periods.  

“We’d also suggest to employers that they monitor not only overtime but absenteeism and attrition rates as well so they know what all that overtime is really costing,” says Christine. 

Hays recommend that employers take a number of steps to help manage employee engagement during sustained periods of increased overtime, including: 

  • Actively monitoring the amount of overtime being performed and by which team members, as well as absenteeism and general employee wellbeing;
  • Remaining open to adding permanent headcount as a way of decreasing overtime and reducing the risk of existing employees leaving;
  • Using temporary staff to relieve pressure on overtime hotspots;
  • Actively encouraging managers to use regular feedback, paid rewards and unpaid rewards to recognise those employees putting in the extra time;
  • Monitoring business activity so staff can be given time off in lieu where possible.  

Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.  

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. 

- Ends -  

About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.  

Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing. 

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2014 Hays employed 8,748 staff operating from 244 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific. 

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.