Singapore, 4 April, 2023 - Glints and Monk’s Hill Ventures (MHV) today launched the Southeast Asia Startup Talent Report 2023. The second iteration of the report provides a deeper dive into hiring trends, salary and equity data for founders and C-suites, and startup talent from over 10,000 data points and 30 interviews with startup founders across Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The report finds that startups will look to invest in more revenue-generating roles such as sales, business development, and marketing and PR in 2023 as companies refocus on the path to profitability. Additionally, while salaries continue to increase, the growth rate will be much lower than in previous years, from upwards of 30% to 5-7% per annum.
Key findings from the report include:
- The tech talent crunch persists in Southeast Asia, with tech roles remaining high in demand, earning on average 38% more than non-tech roles.
- Cash still prevails over equity in the region. While 86% of companies surveyed offer ESOP, on average, ESOP is only made available to one-third of their talent.
- Median CEO base salary grew 2.4x for those that raised $0-5M rounds compared to 2021 as companies raise larger rounds. More CEOs are taking greater equity dilution, likely due to current headwinds. A 5% drop in equity was seen for CEOs in the $5-10m funding stage compared to 2021.
- Engineering remains the most sought-after tech function, with the VP of Engineering making upwards of $235,200 annually. Specialized skills such as product and data are also highly attractive to employers. After engineering, talent in product and data is the highest-paid.
- Product managers saw the biggest salary increase, making 27% more than in 2021.
- Hybrid work is becoming the status quo, with 45% of startups offering hybrid work and 12% offering remote work options to employees across markets.
- Singapore remains the most expensive market to hire tech talent, with engineers paid 3x higher than in Indonesia and Vietnam. Product managers are also paid 3x higher in Singapore than in Indonesia and Vietnam.
- As companies focus on the path to profitability and positive cash flow this year, the top 3 functions that companies prioritize hiring for in 2023 across markets are engineering, BD & sales, and marketing & PR.
“Attracting and building high-performance teams remain top of mind for founders and their teams – particularly in a climate where founders and their teams have to do more with less while achieving positive unit economics. There is still much more to do to provide the tools for employers and talent in startups to make informed decisions about their talent strategy. This report is hopefully one step forward in supporting the community as we believe the strongest founders, talent, and companies will emerge from Southeast Asia in this era of sustainable growth,” said Oswald Yeo, Co-Founder, and CEO of Glints.
“There has been no better time to build high-performing teams in Southeast Asia. Despite headwinds, the region is poised for growth with tech innovations taking center stage and investments flowing in to back this stream of sustainable growth. There is a lot of ground to cover for startups to attract and retain top talent in the current climate. I am confident that the report will be a crucial catalyst in helping founders make informed decisions about navigating hiring strategy,” says Peng T. Ong, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Monk’s Hill Ventures.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.