At least half of the employees around the world are expecting pay raise and bonuses in 2018. Employees from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong SAR are more demanding of their employers - with almost seven in 10 (68.9 per cent) expecting higher salaries this year. This boost in employees’ confidence stems from anticipated economic growth as a result of increasing domestic consumption and exports. Malaysian employees are the most confident across all three markets in negotiating for a higher pay and bonus in view of better economic conditions.

Ryan Carroll, Country Director of Randstad Malaysia said, “Employees’ expectations toward bonus payouts this year indicates 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. 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.”  

The minimum sample size per market is 400 interviews.


Salary expectations in Malaysia is the highest, with 78.1 per cent hoping for a wage raise this year. Vastly different to Singapore and Hong Kong SAR, experienced professionals in Malaysia are slightly more likely to demand a higher salary (78.6 per cent) than their younger counterparts (77.5 per cent).  The demand for higher financial remuneration stems from the low supply of in-demand experienced professionals in Malaysia.

Eight out of 10 Malaysians expect a bonus at the end of this fiscal year, which is also the highest sentiment across the region.

salary expectations statistic malaysia
salary expectations statistic malaysia

hong kong SAR

Seven out of 10 employees (71.2 per cent) in Hong Kong SAR expect a pay raise this year, but only 57 per cent are hoping for a bonus. Similar to Singapore, male employees are much more optimistic about a wage increase and employee performance bonus (62.1 per cent). However, only one in two female employees hope for a higher salary (52.5 per cent) and bonus (52.5 per cent) this year.


Across the three markets, Singaporeans are the least optimistic about a wage growth, with only 63.9 per cent of employees expecting it. Within the same group of respondents, seven out of 10 people are expecting to receive a bonus payout for the fiscal year.

Younger Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 34 are 16.5 per cent more likely to demand a higher pay from their employers as compared to seasoned professionals (58.1 per cent). The salary increment is expected to help them better manage the high cost of living in Singapore. More male employees expect a bonus (71.5 per cent) at the end of this fiscal year than female employees (68.3 per cent).

pay raise expectations
pay raise expectations

related content

the randstad workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003, then in Germany, and now covers 33 markets around the world. The last country to join was Portugal in 2014. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published 4 times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time.

about the Workmonitor’s Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next 6 months, provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. Besides mobility, the survey addresses employee satisfaction and personal motivation as well as a rotating set of themed questions.

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimum sample size is 400 interviews per market. The Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel is used for sampling purposes. The fourth survey of 2017 was conducted from October 24 – November 8, 2017.

about randstad

Randstad is a global leader in the HR services industry, with Asia-Pacific operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Our offices in Southeast Asia have been supporting people and organisations in realising their true potential, helping find the best permanent and contracting talent in accounting & finance, banking & financial services, construction, property & engineering, corporate & secretarial support, human resources, information technology, legal, life science, sales, marketing & communications and supply chain & procurement.

Human connection is at the heart of our business. Our personal approach, supported by state-of-the-art technology, is what sets us apart in the world of work. We express this with a new brand promise: Human Forward.

Hear what our leaders have to say about #HumanForward or and learn more about our Human Forward brand promise.

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