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Employers offer more bonuses to entice workers to stay on
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Employers at two-thirds of multinational companies on the Chinese mainland can expect year-end bonuses to rise at least 10 percent this year, a human resources report released yesterday revealed.


The figures were released amid revelations that many employees were dissatisfied with wages and bonuses, with 10 percent quitting their jobs.


Hudson Recruitment, a Nasdaq-listed international headhunting firm, surveyed 737 multinational companies on the mainland, mostly based in Shanghai, about their hiring intentions, year-end bonuses, salary and turnover in the first quarter.


Across all sectors, 66 percent of employers surveyed said they were planning to pay a year-end bonus of 10 percent more than that of last year.


The consumer sector turned out to lead the year-end bonus list with 78 percent of respondents saying they would pay more than 10 percent.


But the report didn't provide an average year-end bonus figure.


It did, however, say that 32 percent of the surveyed firms would raise employees' salaries at least 20 percent this year, compared with 25 percent for the same period last year.


In media and public relations firms, 21 percent of surveyed employers promised a salary rise of more than 20 percent, the lowest among all sectors.


The mainland finished first in both year-end bonus and salary increase categories in the quarterly report that covered the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.


Angie Eagan, general manager of Hudson's Shanghai office, said the high bonus increase and high pay rise reflected the country's headcount shortage.


"It's interesting to find employers here using bonuses and higher pays to retain talents as a way to stop people leaving," Eagan said.


The survey reported that 61 percent of employers were looking forward to hiring new staff in the first quarter of this year.


"But this strategy does not seem to be working, as they are also facing the highest staff turnover rates," she added.


In the past 12 months, turnover in the Chinese mainland was high. Forty-seven percent of firms said more than 10 percent of their employees quit their jobs.


The turnover rate is almost twice the figure of Japan, the report said. The most frequently cited reason for resignation was limited career progression and "dissatisfaction with salaries or bonuses."


(Shanghai Daily January 18, 2008)

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