The Aquis Search Taiwan Salary Survey 2017 details salary information and recruiting trends in the regions and business sectors we cover. Our information has been researched and collated with the help of our clients and candidates and from our working knowledge of the marketplace. Aquis Search consultants have extensive expertise in their practice area and the information reported is based on telephone interviews with hiring managers, human resources professionals and in-house recruiters as well as data extracted from our own extensive database and internal research resources.
As with all reports that detail salary information and trends, we represent the mainstream view and we recognise there will be individual situations that fall outside the data published. This survey is therefore a guide to general movement in the sector. Please contact us for further information or for clarification on any of the compensation trends detailed in this report.
Finance & Accounting
Recruitment in the banking industry in Taiwan has been challenging at times, following on from the aftermath of a couple of major banks exiting the market back in 2016, and other mergers and acquisitions affecting talent pool. Some professionals have been displaced and others are cautious, opting to stay in their current roles rather than risk a move.
The Mega Bank’s fine of US$180m for AML violations serves as a reminder for foreign and local banks to concentrate on AML matters. Candidates who have the relevant experience are in high demand, and are taking a tough stance when it comes to negotiating a package, with many securing 10-15% increase on their current salary level. The market average for early 2017 was around 7-10% for a lateral move in banks and financial services organisations.
In the asset management sector in Taiwan, funds have always been the most popular financial investment products, particularly the AUM offshore funds which have tremendous value as we see an increasing outflow of capital away from Taiwan. Accordingly, the Financial Supervisory Commission implemented a new Decree to “plough deep” in Taiwan, the purpose of which is to stipulate that foreign asset management companies are required to launch more onshore funds and increase job opportunities in Taiwan. In response to the Decree, many companies have started to expand departments thereby increasing the talent needed. Most noticeably, the need for roles such as product managers, compliance officers and operations has increased. In terms of salary increases, for internal roles the gains are generally between 3% and 6%, and for lateral moves it ranges from 15% to 20%.
The first quarter of 2017 was quiet for finance and accounting recruitment in the commerce sector, as we witnessed the effects of some companies outsourcing accounting teams to China or other areas of South East Asia. The market has been driven more by demand for financial planning professionals and analysts, as well an internal auditors and accounting managers in locally listed companies.
There is evidence of increasing hiring activity, reflecting the more positive expectations of general economic growth. So far in 2017, we have seen openings for finance managers and CFOs, especially amongst local companies preparing to list on the Taiwan stock market. There will be replacement hiring in pharmaceutical, retail and FMCG industries immediately following bonus payouts, which is a normal phenomenon. Financial services companies, notably local and foreign banks as well as asset managers are on the hunt for candidates to fill their internal audit roles. We are also expecting financial control and reporting roles to emerge. In summary, 2017 is so far showing signs of being relatively buoyant, and we forecast a busier market in the remainder of the year and into 2018.
Salary ranges will remain dependant on a combination of qualifications and duties. Normally, for senior accountants, accounting/finance managers and CFOs, annual packages range from TWD 1.5M to TWD 2.5M. In financial services salary negotiations are based on current salary levels, and we anticipate there will be salary increases of between 7 and 15%, depending on urgency and qualifications.
|TITLE||INDUSTRY & ANNUAL SALARY RANGES (TWD)|
|1- 4 YEARS||5 - 8 YEARS|
|Finance Manager||1.0M - 1.5M||1.2M - 2.5M||480K - 540K|
|Accounting Manager||1.0M - 1.5M||1.0M - 2.0M||1.5M - 1.8M|
|Tax Manager||800K - 1.2M||1.0M - 1.5M||1.0M - 1.8M|
|Audit Manager||800K - 1.5M||1.0M - 1.5M||1.0M - 1.5M|
IT & Technology
The technology sector is evolving quickly, and we are seeing an increase in the number of start-ups in the industry especially around mobile technology and ecommerce platforms. Over the past year, we have seen many breakthroughs in information technology, from Google’s AlphaGo beating a Go World Champion to the Pokemon frenzy. Traditional banking services are also digitalising their processes, and as a result, application developers, visual designers, software product managers and big data sciences talents are in demand. These roles command an annual salary ranging from TWD 1.2M to 1.8M.
The recruiting market will continue to grow rapidly, with more roles in technology companies expected in late 2017 and 2018 including technical programming engineers and visual UX UI designers on web and application platforms. We will also see increasing demand for roles relating to online and offline marketing and O2O, as the flow of information as well as cashflow into ecommerce continues to rise. Furthermore, for companies to target the right customers, the application of data analysis and machine learning will need to be considered, potentially creating additional positions as well. In general, salary levels will remain stable. The exception is possibly in the software and semiconductor industries where salaries are looking to be more likely to increase than those from the hardware industry.
IT & Technology
|TITLE||ANNUAL SALARY RANGES (TWD)|
|1- 4 YEARS||5 - 8 YEARS|
|Application Engineer||600K - 1.1M||1.1M - 1.5M||1.6M+|
|Front-End Engineer||600K - 1.1M||1.1M - 1.5M||1.6M - 2.0M|
|Back-End Engineer||700K - 1.2M||1.2M - 1.6M||1.7M+|
|Data Engineer/Analyst/Scientist||700K - 1.2M||1.2M - 1.6M||600K - 900K|
|Database Administrator||600K - 1.1M||1.1M - 1.5M||1.6M - 2.0M|
|IT Support Manager||450K - 700K||700K - 900K||900K - 1.2M|
|Infrastructure Engineer||600K - 900K||900K - 1.2M||1.2M - 1.6M|
|Technical Product Manager||800K - 1.1M||1.1M - 1.7M||1.7M - 2.3M|
|UX/UI Designer||600K - 1.0M||1.0M - 1.6M||1.6M - 2.2M|
Legal In-House Commerce
Activity in the in-house legal market is centred on hiring by technology firms. We have witnessed an increasing trend of talent moving to other parts of Asia such as China, Singapore or Hong Kong. However, we can still report that there continues to be buoyant demand within Taiwan for qualified lawyers (either US or Taiwan bar) with a LLM degree from a common law country such as US, UK or Australia. Legal professionals without bar qualifications are finding it increasingly difficult to compete for roles, and most of them at one point in time will need to consider sitting the bar examination if they are to progress to top management positions. This trend can also be seen within the FMCG and retail industries, although the relevant industry experience also carries weight in determining which skills will secure the role.
In general, the skills in demand across the market are English commercial contract drafting and revision, contract negotiation, settlement and mediation, IP licensing and overseas litigation-related experience, especially if working for a high-tech company. In addition, the ability to liaise with different functions within the corporate environment, and the ability to handle outside counsels and lawyers are becoming skills that hiring managers are looking for. A proven track record in people management and the ability to supervise a team is a prerequisite for managerial roles.
The main recruitment challenge in the legal sector in Taiwan is the lack of flexibility in salary. Many highly qualified candidates are now in the prime stage of their career, but in the current economic climate Taiwanese companies are focusing on cost savings, and are not willing to enter a bidding war that will inflate salaries above fair market rates. This creates a market in which salary ranges become less attractive to good candidates who are either changing companies or returning from an overseas location.
The next twelve months is unlikely to yield any major changes in the market, and we will continue to see a steady pace of hiring activity, with the focus on replacement hiring. As a result, compensation levels across the market will remain at current levels and it’s unlikely we will witness any significant fluctuations.
Mid 2017 will see the usual spike in movement post bonus payout, with positions becoming available mostly in the technology, financial and pharmaceutical industries. We don’t expect to see the same pattern this year in the retail and FMCG industries, as many companies will continue to move their regional headquarters to either China or Singapore. Compliance and AML talent within the financial industry will continue to be in demand as financial companies, fearing punitive measures to be taken against them by the government, tend to over-compensate on compliance deficiencies with increased hiring.
Legal In-House Commerce
|PQE (YEARS)||ANNUAL SALARY RANGE (TWD)|
|0 - 2||800K||1.2M|
|3 - 5||1.0M||1.8M|
|6 - 8||1.5M||2.5M|
|9 - 11||2.0M||3.5M|
|12 - 15||2.5M||4.0M+|
Taiwan’s human resources job market has been relatively slow moving in the first half of 2017, compared with other hubs in Asia, such as China and Singapore. Packages of TWD 2 million seems to be the ceiling for many senior candidates and it has proved difficult for professionals to find a position that provides the compensation level they expect. This is most noticeable in the retail industry.
The most active hiring industries are online gaming and gambling, technology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. They have been seeking all levels of human resources professionals, including recruiters, recruiting managers and human resources section managers.
At the lower end of the market, it has been relatively easy for organisations to find junior human resources candidates. In the technology and financial industries, new graduates with an HR diploma are highly sought after. New start-ups and online gaming companies have demonstrated a preference for candidates with search and select backgrounds to join their in-house recruiting teams. We have seen little movement in salary levels over the past few months.
We expect there to be increased activity in the market towards the end of 2017 especially in demand for training managers, recruiting assistant managers, recruiting managers and HRBP manager roles. The sectors driving this activity will be manufacturing, FMCG and technology, however, we expect a shift in skills requirements as more and more human resources positions will have overseas recruiting functions. Roles will require travel to places such as China. We will also see the recruitment of Taiwanese professionals for overseas locations such as China and other hubs in Southeast Asia.
As with this year, the budget is not likely to be very high for most positions in the first half of 2018. There are limited positions with salary levels above TWD 2.5 million and this is not expected to change. Most of human resources manager positions pay around TWD 1-2 million. Senior candidates will remain more cautious and reserved in expressing their interest in jobs in Taipei since they know packages are not available, and may look to move outside of the country. There will continue to be movement at the lower end of the scale as junior HR professionals tend to move every more frequently to improve their prospects or increase their compensation. However, we will not see any major shake up in the market as culturally, Taiwanese organisations still value tenure, therefore younger candidates always need to work for at least 3 to 5 years in order to be considered for promotions.
|TITLE||ANNUAL SALARY RANGES (TWD)|
|RETAIL INDUSTRY||BANKING INDUSTRY|
|HR Director||2.0M - 3.0M||2.0M - 5.0M||2.0M - 5.0M|
|Senior HR Manager||1.8M - 2.5M||2.0M - 3.0M||2.0M - 3.0M|
|HR Manager||1.3M - 1.8M||1.5M - 2.0M||1.5M - 2.0M|
|HRBP Manager||700K - 1.2M||1.5M - 2.0M||1.5M - 2.0M|
|Talent Acquisition Manager||1.3M - 1.8M||1.5M - 2.0M||1.5M - 2.0M|
|Recruiting Manager||1.3M - 1.5M||1.2M - 1.5M||1.5M - 2.0M|
|C&B Manager||1.2M - 1.5M||1.2M - 1.5M||1.2M - 1.5M|
|L&D Manager||1.2M - 1.5M||1.2M - 1.5M||1.2M - 1.5M|
|Senior Recruiter||800K - 1.2M||800K - 1.2M||800K - 1.2M|
|Recruiter||600K - 800K||600K - 1.0M||600K - 1.0M|
|HR Generalist||600K - 1.0M||600K - 1.0M||600K - 1.0M|
To know more details, please contact -
Legal, Compliance & Corporate Governance
Taipei, North Asia
+886 2 7732 5778
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