Hong Kong Human Resources & Corporate Services Salary Survey 2017

Hong Kong Human Resources & Corporate Services Salary Survey 2017

about 2 years ago by Aquis Search


Aquis Search is delighted to present our Hong Kong Human Resources and Corporate Services Salary Survey 2017. Our aim in producing these surveys is to provide guidance to clients and candidates on current compensation levels post end of year reviews and predict how the market will develop. Our information has been researched and collated with the help of our clients and candidates and from our knowledge of the marketplace.
As with all surveys, the ranges represent the mainstream view and there will be individual situations that fall outside the range published here. Please use this survey as a guide and do not hesitate to call for further clarification on the compensation trends in the market.

Market Overview

Human Resources

The human resources sector has seen little change in the past few months and we do not foresee any shake ups in the remaining months of the year. Law firms and financial institutions have concentrated their efforts on employee retention programs to ensure that turnover remains low, thus the focus is on maintaining the status quo in their human resources departments, enabling experienced individuals to deliver these programs across the company. There is a general trend across Hong Kong for headcount growth being driven by Chinese based investment management firms, and in line with this, several were looking for senior human resources professionals to lead Hong Kong based teams, as well as to oversee other regional teams.

Company Secretary

Company secretary candidates continue to be sought after. There is competition for talent especially at the lower end of the spectrum, as junior and mid level candidates are the most coveted for roles in private companies. The challenge lies in the difference between the salary levels employers are willing to pay, and the expectations of the candidates who have the right skills for the job. More experienced company secretaries are also more selective when they make a career move, and express a strong preference for listed companies with the belief that they will secure better pay and career prospects. As a result, the recruitment process is slightly longer than previous years, as the negotiation stage is taking more time.

Private Practice

Business Development

Business development in law firms is an area of notable growth as departments expand and headcount is created. Many law firms are hiring business development professionals in Beijing to support their Greater China and Hong Kong business. This can be a challenging process as there is a limited talent pool of junior candidates with the experience, skills and personality fit needed.

Legal Support

In private practice, legal secretaries, legal executives and paralegals in corporate practice (including IPO) and litigation are in high demand, and this looks set to continue into 2018. It should be noted that these are mostly replacement roles created by firms that are looking to streamline resources through restructuring. Candidates with three to five years of solid support experience are finding they can easily transition firms, and are moving from one restructured team to another. To keep salaries from growing exponentially, firms are more open to candidates that come from the lower paid local law firms, as opposed to those with international backgrounds. The result is some salary increases, but not at the high levels we normally see with this level of market movement.

In-House Legal

In-house legal teams are also considering their resources more carefully, resulting in the creation of more hybrid roles; roles that require candidates to have both legal and company secretarial experience. Luring these uniquely qualified and quality candidates away from their current roles is difficult as they tend to be well compensated already. At the mid level, there is little movement as we are seeing companies are reluctant to offer senior or management titles to attract talent. Going forward, those at the junior level will be placing great importance on career progression and performance based incentives as they know they have the skills that are needed, and they are aware that openings are not being created as they move up the ladder.


There are two recurrent common themes we are hearing from clients when considering their requirements for the remainder of the year. Firstly, there is a focus on looking for candidates with excellent Chinese language skills and secondly, candidates will need to demonstrate the ability to communicate with stakeholders and have a business development mind set. Communication, problem solving, adaptability, open-mindedness and creativity are repeatedly mentioned as skills that have been in demand over the past year and will continue to be favoured attributes for most roles. In terms of legal support skills, firms are also looking for those with more in depth knowledge around policy and policy change, as a greater importance will be placed on ethics and compliance in businesses across the board. Demand for knowledge management roles and infrastructure support roles such as librarians, IT and operations will remain stable in the coming months, but we expect the digitalisation of processes to create opportunities in 2018.

We are not expecting to see any significant change in salary levels in most areas. Economic growth is favourable, but employers are proceeding cautiously. Resources are being streamlined in corporate services, and the recruitment process, human resources teams and any support talent are all areas where cost savings are being made. Budgets will not necessarily be cut, they will be simply allocated to securing the best combination of talent and skills that meet their forthcoming business objectives. Bonus levels will remain consistent, some firms will continue to offer a 13 month pay scale, and others will offer a discretionary bonus of around the 1 to 2 month level.

Salary Scale - 2017/18

Human Resources

HR SpecialistYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Learning & Development Assistant/Officer1 - 3180K - 220K
Assistant Learning & Development Manager4 - 6250K - 300K
Learning & Development Manager7 - 10420K - 680K
(Regional) Head of Learning & Development11+750K+
Compensation and Benefits Assistant/Officer1 - 3160K - 220K
Assistant Compensation and Benefits Manager4 - 6250K - 360K
Compensation and Benefits Manager/Senior Manager7 - 10380K - 850K
(Regional) Head of Compensation and Benefits11+920K+
Recruitment Specialist/In-House Recruiter (Junior Level)1 - 4200K - 380K
Talent Acquisition Specialist (Mid Level)5+450K - 600K
HR Business Partner 7 - 10620K - 900K
Head of Talent Acquisition 11+1.0 Mn+

HR Generalist Years of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
HR Officer/Assistant1 - 3
160K - 280K
HR Associate/Assistant Manager4 - 6320K - 440K
HR Manager/Senior Manager7 - 10440K - 920K
HR Director/Head11+960K+

In-House Legal Support/Paralegal (With Legal Qualification)

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Paralegal/Legal Executive1 - 4180K - 360K
Assistant Legal Manager5 - 10360K - 650K
Legal Manager11+680K+

Legal Support (Without Legal Qualification)

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Junior Legal Executive/Junior Legal Secretary1 - 4120K - 220K
Legal Executive/Legal Secretary5 - 10240K - 320K
Senior Legal Executive/Senior Legal Secretary11+400K+

Business Development (Private Practice)

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
BD Executive/Coordinator1 - 4220K - 480K
BD Manager/Senior Manager5 - 10480K - 900K
Head of BD11+1.0 Mn+

Company Secretary (Listed Company)

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Company Secretarial Officer/Assistant1 - 4220K - 460K
Assistant Company Secretary/Manager5 - 10460K - 760K
Company Secretary/Senior Manager11+1.0 Mn+

Company Secretary (Private Company)

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Company Secretarial Officer/Assistant1 - 4140K - 270K
Manager/Assistant Manager5 - 10320K - 540K
Team Lead/Department Head11+600K+

In-House Corporate Support

PositionYears of ExperienceAnnual Salary (HKD)
Administrator1 - 5150K-300K
Assistant Office Manager1 - 5
Office Manager6 - 10
Secretary/ Executive Assistant (Junior)1 - 4
Secretary/Executive Assistant (Mid Level)5 - 10
Secretary/Executive Assistant (Senior)11+600K+

To know more details, please contact -
Toni Gieuw
Senior Consultant
Human Resources & Corporate Services
Hong Kong, Asia Pacific
+852 2537 0333

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