More than 69% of the 87 firms surveyed give their IT workers at least 4% pay rise this year, said Hong Kong Computer Society that released on Wednesday results of its Hong Kong IT Industry Employment and Salary Trend.

HKCS started the questionnaire survey among corporate members in June. According to the organization, 38 out of the 87 firms employ more than 100 IT professionals.

Despite the pay increase IT employees receive, the percentage of firms that give 4% pay rise or more this year is lower than last year's 93.75%. HKCS successfully interviewed 58 firms in 2012.

In addition, 44% of firms hired fresh graduates who majored in ICT, with 92.44% of them offering a starting monthly salary more than HK$10,000.

Mutual recognition of project management qualifications

Despite pay increase, the local talent shortage shows no sign of easing. According to results of a ManpowerGroup survey participated by 424 Hong Kong employers this year, IT as a category occupies the 4th place in the list of 2013's most-difficult-to-fill roles in the city, compared to its 6th place in 2012 and 8th rank in 2009.

Michael Leung, president of HKCS, said that the organization has started a talent cultivation focus team since two years ago to address the local talent shortage issue.

In addition to career talks, career expos, and other activities held by the organization to raise awareness of career opportunities in the IT sector, Leung noted that mutual recognition of IT qualifications will continue to play an important in attracting talented individuals to the field.

According to him, the Hong Kong Institute for IT Professional Certification (HKITPC)--originated by HKCS and now an independent non-profit organization--is working with PMI (Project Management Institute) on the recognition of qualifications like Project Manager and Project Director certifications offered by the HKITPC.

"The two organizations are discussing how certifications should be recognized," Leung said. "There are also discussions between HKITPC and other certification organizations on mutual recognition of system architect qualifications too."