KPMG’s seventh annual Executive Salary Outlook analyses a survey of 1,327 business executives and professionals across six industry sectors to take a measure of the employment market in the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong (SAR). This insights report focuses on the employment trends in the Chinese Mainland.

China faced a challenging 2022. While recruitment activity and salary increments within traditional industries were more cautious and conservative, strong growth momentum was seen in some emerging technology fields such as new energy vehicles, advanced materials, intelligent manufacturing, biomedicine, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and big data, with these areas experiencing increased headcounts even under the epidemic situation.

The employment market is expected to be positive in 2023, which is reflected in planned hiring activity. Highlighting that the economic bounce-back is a key theme, the survey finds that headcount increases are focusing on frontline staff such as sales, fee earners and client relations roles. 

Talent retention and attraction are major concerns for employers. The salary and compensation package is the top motivation for survey respondents from the Chinese Mainland to consider seeking a new job opportunity. The benefits package is an important tool for attraction and retention, with flexible work arrangements and share/long-term incentive awards seen as the most desirable benefits, although not consistently offered by employers.

In addition to a salary and bonus outlook across a number of key sectors, the report also looks into the views of talent regarding the career opportunities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). Key motivations for talent to consider relocating in the GBA include better career prospects, broader work exposure and achieving a higher income.