The Southeast Asia Tech Talent Compensation Report commissioned by Monk’s Hill Ventures and Glints revealed that SEA remains an attractive market for tech companies to secure talent, despite increasing compensation packages within regions.
The study conducted by interviewing more than 20 founders across Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, as well as using over 1,000 data points about tech startup talent. The report examined talent crunch in SEA regions, rising base salaries, the impact of COVID-19 on company building, and the role of culture in scaling teams and startups locally.
According to the data compiled by Monk’s Hill Ventures report, companies in the US and China view Southeast Asia as a more affordable market to hire both tech and non-tech talent. Many founders told Monk’s Hill Ventures that they have built teams from high-performing engineering talent in Vietnam, data science talent in Singapore, and product management talent in Indonesia. Generally, these three countries (Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia) are on top three of the fastest-growing tech markets that also have become hotspots for key business activities.
Many of the most promising tech unicorns like Grab and Sea Group, Lazada, Go-Jek, Shopee are born in SEA regions. With the continuous development of startups and tech companies, the demand for tech talents is also rising.
Korn Ferry survey showed that the talent crunch as a percentage of the economy is most pronounced in the Asia Pacific region. While some countries in the region are dealing with rapidly ageing populations, others have a rising number of working-age citizens. For instance, Hong Kong and Japan face particularly stark deficits while India stands out as the only country that can expect a talent surplus.
Korn Ferry survey assessed the demand versus supply for talent in 20 developed and developing economies across the Americans, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific. More granularly, Korn Ferry examined talent supply and demand in each market as a whole and within three major knowledge-intensive sectors, including financial and business services, TMT, and manufacturing. The survey then measured the score by measuring the gap between talent supply and demand at three distinct skill levels.
In APAC countries, particularly in Singapore, the talent crunch is already rising. By 2030, Korn Ferry predicted that Singapore could lose out on $106.82bn USD that will not be realised due to talent shortages. In terms of the size of its economy, Singapore could fail to grow by 21 percent by 2030.
Singapore needs to accept and embrace the talent challenge, Korn Ferry researchers suggested. The talent crunch in the country has already started and is being felt across several different sectors. While Singapore attracts talent well today, there is a question mark as to whether the Lion City can continue attracting high calibre talent from abroad in large numbers.
Furthermore, researchers suggested that both small and large companies need to focus on the current workforce and look at how they can upgrade and reskill the population (employees) quickly and efficiently. And this process might need an initial retooling of HR population at all levels to equip learners with new processes, methodologies, products, and services. Traditional HR also needs to evolve and become agile HR practitioners to act quicker and more effectively to the challenges ahead.
With the competition lying ahead, not only do business leaders need to focus on talent shortage, they also need to win tech talent recruitment competition among other industries. Robert Walters said that there might be higher hiring activity in four key areas, including technology, healthcare, e-commerce, and logistics. For APAC countries, 2021 will see a rewiring of companies and professionals’ expectations towards work and work-life balance. On this note, organisations should start evaluating and determining their own unique approach to workplaces and the future of work, particularly on how to attract and retain their star talents.
Salaries and benefits continue to be among the greatest factors for job seekers when looking for a job. But jobseekers also valued a company’s growth prospects and the brand name of the company. With this in mind, companies should start smart in their hiring techniques, such as embracing new methods of recruitment to target tech talents, keeping updated with the latest talent trends, making sure the pace of hiring reflects the firm’s digital edge, and understanding the needs and wants of their future talents, such as innovative disruptions, reward, or excellent work environment.