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Glints Forecasts Increased Demand from Hong Kong Employers for Skilled Southeast Asia Tech Talent

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With a talent shortage, Hong Kong-based employers are becoming flexible and adaptable in building high-performing teams in markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 4 April 2023 – The Southeast Asia Startup (SEA) Talent Report 2023 released today by Glints, the leading talent platform and recruitment service in Southeast Asia, and Monk’s Hill Ventures (MHV), unveils the latest data and insights regarding recruitment trends and the talent landscape in Southeast Asian markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Hong Kong-based employers can take insights from the report to understand more about improving cost-effectiveness by hiring skilled tech professionals from markets across Southeast Asia.

Increasing Demand from Hong Kong-based Employers for SEA Talent

Hong Kong-based employers are currently faced with a talent shortage and a brain drain, particularly within the market’s burgeoning tech sector. In addition, the government recently announced its plan to “trawl for talent” globally to attract talent back to Hong Kong. As a result, Glints is forecasting an increased demand from employers for skilled Southeast Asia tech talent.

“We are seeing an increasing demand from Hong Kong-based employers for talent from Southeast Asia. These employers are becoming more adaptable in building high-performing teams by hiring skilled talent from markets like Indonesia and Vietnam. By expanding their search beyond a hypercompetitive and costly local market, these employers can tap into a deep pool of skilled tech and tech-adjacent talent in a cost-efficient way,” said Puay Lim Yeo, Managing Director of Glints.

Glints conducted salary research in Hong Kong compared to various markets in Southeast Asia and found cost advantages to hiring skilled tech and tech-adjacent talent in Southeast Asia. for tech and tech-adjacent roles.

The findings include:

  • Median salaries for tech roles such as engineering, product and data are 2.5 times higher in Hong Kong than in Southeast Asia.
  • Median salaries for business development roles are 3 times higher in Hong Kong compared to Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
  • Median salaries for senior software engineers with 5-10 years of experience are 3 times higher in Hong Kong compared to Indonesia and the Philippines and 1.8 times higher than in Vietnam. (The median salary for Hong Kong software engineers is US$67,560 annually compared to US$36,870 for Vietnam and US$22,150 for Indonesia.)
  • Median salaries for product manager roles are 2-3 times higher in Hong Kong than in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The median salary for a Hong Kong product manager is US$59,120 annually compared to US$33,000 for Vietnam and US$14,040 for Indonesia.

Southeast Asia Tech Talent Pool Grows

Glints’ latest report, “The Southeast Asia Startup Talent Report 2023“, identifies hiring trends, salary, and equity data for startup talent from over 10,000 data points and in-depth interviews with founders across Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The report provides local insight for Hong Kong companies considering hiring talent from beyond the city’s borders:

  • Return of the “SEA turtles”: A growing number of tech engineers trained in the United States are returning home and developing an engineering-centric culture in their home countries. These engineers, who have honed their skills in places like Silicon Valley, know how to build systems at scale and have what it takes to build a product-led company. This trend is emerging in Vietnam, where talent is returning from other sectors in addition to banking and finance.
  • Salary expectations will stabilize across SEA: Historically, there are cost advantages for Hong Kong-based employers hiring for Southeast Asia tech talent. In addition to that, the report finds that salary expectations for talent to become more manageable in 2023 compared to previous years, where there was more competition for talent and higher salary inflation. The growth rate will be much lower than in previous years for tech salaries, from upwards of 30% to 10-20% per annum.
  • Potential arbitrage opportunities from emerging Southeast Asia markets: There are opportunities to source strong senior tech talent in Southeast Asia. For example, the report finds that the quality of engineers in the Philippines is not much different from other markets and can be highly economical to hire and scale this talent. Engineering talent in markets like Indonesia and Vietnam can be 3 times lower than in more mature markets.

“One of the key challenges in scaling our edtech startup was finding strong tech talent locally that is also cost-effective. It was also a time-consuming process. We decided to partner with Glints and expand our search to Southeast Asia. We successfully hired two remote engineers in Malaysia to accelerate our growth,” said Andy Ng, founder, and CEO of Tutor Circle, a Hong-Kong based tutoring matching platform.

The report can be downloaded here.

Hashtag: #Glints

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About Glints

Glints is the leading talent ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Our mission is to enable the 120 million professionals in the region to grow their careers and empower organizations to hire the right talent from anywhere in Southeast Asia. Officially launched in 2015 in Singapore, Glints has empowered more than 3 million talent and 50,000 organizations to realize their human potential. Today, we stand at the forefront of human capital empowerment as the fastest-growing startup in the career development and talent recruitment space. Glints currently operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan. For more, visit .

About Monk’s Hill Ventures

Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Peng T. Ong and Kuo-Yi Lim, Monk’s Hill Ventures (‘MHV’) is a venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology companies, primarily pre-Series A and Series A, in Southeast Asia. Backed by institutional investors and family offices worldwide, MHV works with great entrepreneurs to use technology to improve the lives of millions of people in the region. For more, visit .

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