Malaysians most hopeful while Singaporeans least confident about expected pay raise in 2018: Randstad

File photo: Most employees in Malaysia and Singapore are expecting increased remuneration for this fiscal year and more are confident in negotiating higher wages.
The Straits Times

Most Southeast Asian (SEA) employees are expecting salary raises and bonuses this fiscal year as they become more demanding of their employers, says a recent study.

According to the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor – a job market trends survey conducted by human resources service provider Randstad – seven in 10 employees in SEA expect a pay raise and 68.9% hope for a bonus in 2018.

The online survey was conducted in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong among employees aged 18 to 65, who work a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job, with a focus on employee remuneration expectations.

A minimum sample size of 400 interviews per country were conducted.


The study revealed that salary expectations in Malaysia are the highest, with 78.1% hoping for a wage raise and bonus.

Malaysians are the most confident across the three markets in negotiating for higher pay and bonus in light of improving economic conditions due to increasing domestic consumption and exports.

Experienced professionals in Malaysia are also slightly more likely to demand a higher wage (78.6%) as compared to their younger counterparts (77.5%).

The trend likely stemmed from the low supply of in-demand experienced professionals in the country, said the report.

“Employees’ expectations toward bonus payouts this year indicate a boost in confidence as well as positive sentiments on Malaysia’s economic performance. As the market continues to expect growth, employees are expecting to be rewarded for their hard work,” said Ryan Carroll, Randstad Malaysia’s country director.

“Companies should invest in assessing their salary and benefits packages for employees to help improve employer brand, attract the right talent and retain their employees.”

Singapore employees turned out to be the least optimistic about wage growths this year.

Only 63.9% of employees expect a raise and seven out of 10 are looking forward to receiving a bonus payout for the fiscal year – a lower number than Malaysia’s eight out of 10 employees who expect the same.

Unlike Malaysia, younger Singapore employees between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to demand higher pay (74.6%) from their employers than seasoned professionals (58.1%), expecting the increment to alleviate the country’s high cost of living.

More male employees (71.5%) than female employees (68.3%) in Singapore are expecting a bonus at the end of the fiscal year as well.