Published on 18th January 2017
2016 was a challenging year for sales and marketing functions across key industries in Hong Kong.
Due to uncertainties at the macro level, organisations were being ever more vigilant in their hiring strategies. Job seekers typically faced a longer application and interview process.
In 2016, we saw a trend where job vacancies were often replacements rather than newly created positions. It was also a year where we saw an increase in temporary and contract positions as opposed to permanent positions. This phenomenon was a reflection that businesses still felt uncertain about the short-to-medium term economic outlook for Hong Kong.
Retail faced a challenging year in 2016
Overall the retail sector continued to be sluggish in 2016, especially for luxury brands, watch & jewellery and wine & spirits companies. As retail demand continued to slow down in Hong Kong, many businesses faced a drop in sales and profit margin compared to 2015.
In times of such adversity, we saw companies repositioning their recruitment strategy by bringing in professionals who are experienced in directing and steering businesses out of challenging environments. In this regard, professionals with hands-on experience in business performance turnaround are highly favourable in today's Hong Kong job market.
For other parts of retail such as FMCG and mass retail sectors, hiring activity remained low especially at the mid-management level roles. Despite a challenging 2016 for retail hiring, we saw a continual demand for professionals strong in retail operations due to high staff turnover at the store operations level.
Digital and start-up sales & marketing roles will be in demand
Going into Q1 2017, as e-Commerce matures and the number of online shoppers grows, we expect to see an increased demand for professionals with strong digital marketing and CRM experience. These professionals will find themselves with plenty of career opportunities in the months ahead. We also expect to see a continual demand for talent in financial services organisations, especially in terms of specialist sales functions such as risk and compliance sales roles.
In recent times, there has been a build up in momentum from start-ups and developing companies. Although Singapore has been positioned as the start-up hub in Asia, we expect this may change based on the trend we observed over the last 12 months in 2016. Many local and international start-ups have chosen Hong Kong as a starting point. With start-ups, the challenge in talent attraction will continue to exist. While there is a diverse talent pool in Hong Kong offering an excellent mix of skills and international experience, the majority of job seekers will still prefer to join established companies with proven track record of success.
Many start-ups offer equity to professionals to remain competitive. For professionals who are keen to join start-ups, we highly recommend that you conduct research and due diligence on these new companies before making the decision to join.
Sales & Marketing
Salary Report for Q1 2017*
*Notes about salary report:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.