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Salaries to perk up this year

When the going gets good, the increments get going. A mid-level professional in a finance company based in Chennai or Bangalore will get the highest salary increase (13.4 per cent) in 2004 according to an annual prediction by HR consulting firm Hewitt Associates. The figures reflect a reversal in a six-year trend of declining pay increases.

The sectors that will get the fattest pay packets in 2004 are predicted to be the non-banking finance companies at the top slot, followed by software development and entertainment and communication. Last year, the BPO services gave the highest average salary increases, following by software development, logistics and healthcare and medical products.

Between November 2003 and January 2004, Hewitt surveyed 521 foreign-owned, locally-owned, and joint-venture organizations across 23 industries representing approximately 650,000 employees. The comprehensive regional survey measures actual and projected salary increases and compensation practices for five employee groups, namely, Senior/Top Management, Manager, Professional/Technical/Supervisor, Clerical/Support, and Manual workers.

It found that salary increases ranged from 9.5% - 12.6% in 2003, as compared to increases between 7.7% - 10.9% in 2002. (Chennai reported the highest average salary increases of 13.5%, followed by Bangalore and Kolkata, with increases of 12.5% and 11.5%, respectively.) For 2004, the Hewitt study projects that the average salary increases will range from 9.7% to 13.4% across all employee groups. The study also found a drastic reduction in respondents projecting the need for a salary freeze at 0.2% in 2004, compared to 4% in the previous study.

While hiring has picked up, the job groups that ranked the most challenging to fill in 2003 were IT, Operations, and Sales. The highest attrition rates came in the Entertainment/ Communications/ Publication industry (26.2%), followed by the IT Enabled industry (23.4%). Meanwhile, the lowest attrition rate was in the Chemicals industry (6.2%).

Source: Hewitt Asia

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