Are you getting paid enough? If not, it’s a good time to ask for that raise now

The ‘Michael Page India Employee Intentions’ report includes key insights into employee preferences for attraction and retention, salary expectations


Michael Page is a UK-based recruitment business consultancy firm.
Michael Page is a UK-based recruitment business consultancy firm.

New Delhi: Employers watch out: 75% of Indian employees are likely to ask for higher remuneration, 82% of employees intend to change roles and 76% would consider overseas opportunities in the next 12 months, according to the 2015/2016 Michael Page India Employee Intentions report.

The report is based on the online survey responses of more than 300 employees in India and supported by insight gleaned from conversations with thousands of professionals. Michael Page is a UK-based recruitment business consultancy firm. The report includes key insights into employee preferences for attraction and retention, salary expectations, promotions and their view on the predicted employment outlook.

Salary expectations in a new role

Employees in India expect significant salary increases when changing roles, with the most commonly expected increase being 26% or above (for 34% of survey respondents). A further 29% of respondents expect an increase of 21-25%. This could be indicative of a sample of respondents showing a more reasonable approach to salary expectations or an awareness of their company’s policies and/or financial situation. Male employees are more aggressive than their female counterparts when seeking salary increases to change jobs, with 35% of men expecting a raise of 26% or more, compared with 21% of females who expect the same.

Important factors when changing roles

Scope for career progression was the most important factor when changing jobs for almost two-thirds of survey respondents (65%), ahead of an increase in salary (56%) and company brand and reputation (45%). Learning and development opportunities are important for 34% of employees, and a better title is a key decision-maker for 31%. There is a slight variation in male and female preferences, with females more likely to value company brand and reputation than salary (52% as compared with 48%). Male respondents reverse this trend, with 57% valuing salary and 46% company reputation.

Looking for roles overseas

International opportunities are important for employees in India, with 76% indicating they would consider looking for overseas career opportunities in the next 12 months. There is no definitive leader when it comes to preferred overseas locations: 29% would prefer to remain in Asia, with Singapore as the top location. Other popular locations include the Middle East, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The top three reasons for considering moving abroad are broadening experience and learning from international organizations, enhanced salary and achieving better work-life balance.

How do employees search for jobs

91% of survey respondents are likely to use recruitment consultants (it should be noted that a recruiter conducted the survey), followed by 78% who will utilize their professional network. Job boards are popular with 61% of employees; and social media platforms are gaining traction as a job search platform, with 56% of respondents indicating they intend to use social media in their next job search. There are no surprises when it comes to the most popular websites for a job search, with LinkedIn (used by 82% of respondents) and Naukri (for 79% of respondents) taking the lead. For employers, this reiterates the importance of a strong presence online.

Retention strategies for top performers

Financial reward ranks as the top factor to entice employees to stay in their current role (21% of respondents name this as their primary motivator). The next is strong leadership figures, with 19% ranking a motivating manager as a key factor that would keep them in their current role. Other important retention factors include overseas career opportunities (14%) and company culture (14%).

Promotion expectations

Half of the survey respondents have received a promotion in the past two years. Encouragingly, there is very little difference between males and females who have received a promotion (50% of males and 46% of females). This speaks well of India’s diversity agenda. Looking ahead, 70% of employees intend to ask for a promotion within the next 12 months, but only 46% of employees expect to receive one. Again, there is a fairly even representation of males and females who will ask for a promotion (73% of females and 68% of males) and between those who expect to receive one (46% of females and 44% of males).

Salary expectations

75% of employees indicated that they are likely to ask for higher remuneration in the next 12 months. While most respondents (45%) expect a pay rise in the range of 10-15%, 28% of the respondents expect 16-20% pay rise, while 24% expect an increase of more than 21%.

Turnover forecast

Companies will need to take a close look at their retention strategies as the vast majority of employees in India plan career moves. 73% of survey respondents attended an interview in the past 12 months, and 82% of survey respondents believe they are likely to change roles within the next 12 months (57% are very likely and 25% are likely). Only 11% of employees are likely to stay in their current roles. Fast-tracked careers are predominant in the Indian mindset and a big reason for the high turnover forecast. Nevertheless, being promoted within the same company and having a mid-term career view in the same organization can be really valuable. For employers, this means more communication, strong appraisal policies and training programmes as a key to keeping people engaged and competing against churn.

Working hours

In the past 12 months, working hours have increased for 42% of employees, with 13% of total survey respondents working an extra 10 hours or more a week. This is most prevalent in finance and sales and marketing, where 46% and 45% of employees, respectively, are working for more number of hours. Business growth is the main reason for increased working hours for 45% of survey respondents. Indians are working long hours, with 34% indicating they work 51 or more hours each week, and 31% working between 46 and 50 hours.

Diversity policies

Diversity is still not top of mind for the majority of Indian employees, with only 31% indicating that they would take the company’s diversity policy into account when evaluating a new job opportunity. 42% of survey respondents are not aware of diversity policies in their current organization.

However, diversity is higher on the agenda for female employees, with 41% of respondents indicating they would take company policies into account when considering a new opportunity, as compared with only 30% of males.

Employment opportunities and employee concerns

The survey found confidence in India’s growing job market, with almost two-thirds of survey respondents indicating that they believe the job market will improve (44%) or significantly improve in the next 12 months (20%). Almost half of the employees (49%) believe the market will be good in the next 12 months, and 17% believe it will be excellent. Only 5% believe it will be weak or very weak.

As regards employee concerns, global economic influences was the most common issue of concern for survey respondents (26%), followed by domestic economic context and job security (21%). Other concerns raised include lack of career progression opportunities and/or leadership roles as well as organizational change.

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