top of page

Glints Reveals Increased Demand for Southeast Asian Startup Talent from Hong Kong and Mainland China

Glints observes a rise in cross-border hiring from Hong Kong and mainland China to Southeast Asia, with Hong Kong companies aiming for cost-efficiency and talent acquisition, while mainland China prioritizes expansion and utilizes Singapore as a strategic base.



Glints, the leading talent platform and solution in Southeast Asia, and Monk's Hill Ventures ('MHV') recently released The Southeast Asia Startup Talent Report 2024, providing the latest insights on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on hiring and team building and the overall talent landscape in Southeast Asia.


The report identifies hiring trends, salary, and equity data for startup talent from over 10,000 data points, 183 C-suites and founder data points, and interviews with founders across Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China's Taiwan.


While 2023 saw divergent salary trends in Southeast Asia's tech sector, with junior engineering roles experiencing a 6% decline, revenue-generating roles such as business development and sales saw increases of up to 20%. This can be attributed to startups prioritizing profitability and cost-saving measures. However, demand for Southeast Asian talent remains strong despite global layoffs and cost-cutting measures, as evidenced by a fourfold increase in cross-border job postings from Hong Kong and mainland China observed by Glints in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.


Key market observations:


  • Hong Kong companies target SEA tech talent for skill sets and cost savings: Salary differentials are a key driver, with roles in Taiwan offering 30-40% lower costs compared to Hong Kong for sought-after mid-level positions such as full-stack developers, DevOps engineers, and data scientists, based on our observations. Markets in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam and Malaysia can offer even lower costs for similar positions. This provides employers with cost savings while acquiring tech talent in a competitive market.

  • Mainland China companies prioritizes sales, business development, and marketing/PR in Southeast Asia: A study by Bailian.AI surveying 366 mainland China-based companies aligns with these observations. The top reasons for hiring cross-border talent in Southeast Asia include expanding into the region or using Singapore as a global base, with a focus on local business development talent for localization and market understanding. This highlights local knowledge for successful sales, marketing, and PR campaigns.


"The increase in cross-border hiring by Hong Kong and mainland China-based companies reflects their strategic responses to different market needs. Hong Kong companies are focusing on cross-border hiring to enhance profitability and reduce costs by accessing a wider talent pool for building high-quality teams. On the other hand, mainland China-based firms are leveraging this approach to support their expansion into Southeast Asia or on a global scale, with Singapore often serving as a pivotal base. Both, however, encounter the shared challenge of localization in Southeast Asia, where navigating culture, customs, and regulations becomes crucial in establishing effective regionally distributed teams," said Puay-Lim Yeo, Managing Director of Glints.


Key findings from the report include:


  1. Startup salaries in Southeast Asia fell in 2023 with junior engineering roles seeing the sharpest decline of 6%. However, most senior tech roles saw steady year-on-year growth, with senior engineer roles posting a 2-3% increase.

  2. The supply of junior candidates in Southeast Asia increased significantly due to tech layoffs. This influx has resulted in a downward adjustment of salaries across various positions. In contrast, senior talents, such as VPs of Engineering, remain in demand.

  3. Soft skills such as critical thinking and creative thinking are increasingly prioritized due to a tightened market and an emerging AI-centric landscape. Additionally, a growing number of founders in Southeast Asia now see proficiency in AI tools as a basic requirement for both tech and non-tech roles, akin to the use of email or Excel.

  4. AI is boosting productivity in the workplace in Southeast Asia, yet jobs remain secure. Founders recognize employee concerns about job displacement as a key obstacle for AI adoption in the workplace, yet, these fears have not materialized in practice.

  5. Hybrid work is rising in Southeast Asia as startups prioritize flexibility to retain talent. Flexible work arrangements, including hybrid models, are trending at the top of startups' strategies for retaining talent. This move towards hybrid work to balance operational efficiency with employees' growing demand for flexibility, is expected to persist into 2024.


16 views0 comments

Comments


subscribe_button.png

2023 @ Inno-Thought and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

bottom of page