There is no global cost of talent; the wages you pay your employees depend on a variety of factors, such as where they live. A large part of your employer’s brand depends on aligning your employment offer with a candidate’s salary expectations. The Universum Talent Survey can help you understand those expectations by showing you what new graduates can expect. Here are a few of the lessons that the talent survey learned about candidates in APAC countries.
The three countries with the highest starting business and engineering salary expectations were Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. This makes sense, as those three countries had the highest per capita GDP in APAC, although it is interesting to note that, of those three nations, Japan had the lowest per capita GDP. Conversely, Vietnam and Indonesia had the lowest expected incomes in both Business and Engineering, and were among countries with the lowest per capita GDP. While there might not be a perfect correlation between salary expectations and overall national economic strength, it does demonstrate that APAC students are reasonable in their salary demands. To build the strongest employer brand possible, be sure that your offers are in line with the relevant country’s economic strength.
The Gender Gap in APAC countries accounts for $50 billion a year in lost productivity. Despite efforts by Asian nations to promote gender equality in the workplace, Asia is still far behind many of their global counterparts in creating institutional and educational reforms to promote gender equality. Of those countries surveyed by Universum, the World Economic Forum found that none were excelling in their efforts to address gender inequality, with Singapore being ranked the highest at 58th. Of the 136 countries that the WEF surveyed, Pakistan was ranked second to last for its gender equality efforts
This lack of progress is reflected in starting salary expectations. The Universum Talent Survey shows that there are massive wage gaps throughout APAC, reaching as high as almost 30 percent in Pakistan in both Business and Engineering. Unsurprisingly, Singapore, which was ranked highest in the WEF report for its efforts, has among the lowest pay gaps in APAC. Therefore, without strong reforms in each APAC country, expectations of lower income for women, as well as the overall pay gap, will persist.
While a variety of factors can influence whether a country undergoes a “brain drain” or “brain gain,” salary expectations are a large part of that. For example, according to the talent survey, Malaysia has one of the lowest sets of salary expectations in the region, so it should come as no surprise that Malaysia is having a hard time filling its open positions. On the other hand, Hong Kong has one of the highest sets of salary expectations in Asia, and its recruitment market is incredibly strong. These trends are not an accident.
If you are looking to build a competitive workforce in Asia and need help building your employer brand, contact Universum today.