TAG | compensation packages
Welcome to the new Morgan McKinley Hong Kong blog. Our team of recruitment consultants will keep this regularly updated with insight and thoughts on topical issues affecting the Hong Kong business and hiring markets. We welcome comments and I hope you find this, my very first post of interest, on the topic of…bonuses!
Whilst the majority of top firms have already paid bonuses out for 2010, the first half of 2011 has without a doubt been the year for discussing the structure of compensation packages at length.
Almost every hiring manager or job seeker that I have spoken to wants to know whether: a) as an employer they paid out ok; b) they were paid ok themselves; or c) if not, what they missed out on.
Now you may say that this is normal behavior in any year, and yes you would be correct, but this has been heightened by the fact that there is a general feeling of bonus payments being unpredictable this year. The constraints placed upon financial institutions globally by various governments and regulatory bodies have led to much anticipated changes to compensation making it harder to anticipate how the bonus pot will be split.
Although general consensus is that bonus payments were lower than expected in 2010, I would place individuals into one of three broad categories:
- Category A – exceptionally high performers who employers cannot afford to lose. They have, unsurprisingly been paid relatively well in the past.
- Category B – exceptionally high performers who the banks know they can maintain through other incentives such as promotion, career development and talent management. It is these people who are likely to have received relatively low payouts this year.
- Category C – average or below average performers who again unsurprisingly have been paid little of note.
With the exception of Category B, most people would agree that this is how it should be, but it hasn’t always been the case in previous years when bonuses were a little more free-flowing!
Whatever was the norm previously, events of the past few years have led to significant scrutiny over compensation, with individual, team and departmental performance having a significant impact on the final numbers. Like it or not, the fact is that professionals in financial services will have to work harder for their rewards from now on, but to some extent will also have to focus on their internal profile so as not to be overlooked when it comes to dividing up the bonus pot next time.
For more information on compensation in Hong Kong’s financial services sector and commerce & industry, please take a look at our 2011 Salary Guide.