Indian companies are likely to keep average salary hikes muted at 11 per cent in 2015, with medical life sciences sector expected to dole out the highest pay raise.
According to global consultancy Mercer's 'Total Remuneration Survey', the actual salary increase across industries and career levels for 2014 stood at 10.6 per cent.
The survey covered 700 organisations in the country across various industry sectors like medical life sciences, chemical, oil and gas, manufacturing and engineering, automobiles and auto components, shared services and hi-tech sector.
"Overall, the current pay increase forecasts indicate that while business sentiment is positive, companies await the sentiment to turn into actual business results before taking aggressive pay actions," Mercer India Business Leader (Information Solutions) Shanthi Naresh said.
With an average salary increase likely to be at 11 per cent, the projected pay hike for next year in medical life sciences sector is the highest (12 per cent) and for the shared services and hi-tech industry it is lowest (10 per cent).
While the pay increases have been muted, a majority of companies have indicated aggressive recruitment activity in the next year on expectation of higher growth rate, the survey findings showed.
In industry context, the organisation and specific roles are continuing to drive reward decisions, Naresh added.
"Even companies which are forecasted to dole out lower than average salary hike are using their discretion to differentiate and reward high performers with slightly higher pay increases in order to aid retention," Naresh said.
According to the survey, engineering, sales and research and development functions continue to remain the most difficult functions to hire and retain talent.
Mercer also found that the overall actual attrition in 2013 across industries was 10.3 per cent with the highest attrition in the hi-tech sector at 15 per cent.
By comparison, attrition stood at 6.5 per cent as on June 2014.