Tech Talent Report

Singapore-based Monk’s Hill Ventures has partnered with talent platform Glints to launch the Southeast Asia Tech Talent Compensation report.

The report scoured through more than 1,000 data points and interviews with over 20 founders to uncover the latest trends in building teams, attracting, and compensating tech roles in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

It also encompasses the wider tech talent landscape in Southeast Asia, and the motivations and drivers of both startups and their employees.

Also Read: How foodpanda CTO approaches hiring and retaining the best tech talent

The report found while compensation packages for both tech and non-tech roles within the region have increased, it remains an attractive market for securing experienced and diverse talent to building quality tech teams.

Here are the main takeaways:

Talent crunch

There’s a talent crunch regionally — particularly in Singapore — for engineering and product manager roles. The US and China tech companies entering the region — including TikTok, Tencent, Alibaba, and Zoom — are more likely to pay above-market rates for tech talent or, in some cases, write blank cheques for high performers.

Cash is king

Cash is still king, though things are changing. Fewer than 32 per cent of participants reported being compensated in equity. However, the report revealed that some founders are spending time educating their teams on the benefits of equity.

Technical triumphs

Technical roles are still the most in-demand and highly remunerated across the region. Technical roles (product, data science, engineering) earned 54 per cent more than non-technical roles (marketing, operations, sales, finance).

Specialisation pays

The differences in base salary between product and data science roles over non-technical roles were one to two times higher than for engineering. This suggests that while engineering skills are becoming more common across the region, specialised product and data science skills remain hard to come by.

Compared to engineering, the higher demand for product skills results in higher compensation packages.

Vietnamese growth

Salary differences for senior roles relative to junior roles were the highest in Vietnam for both tech and non-tech talent compared to Singapore and Indonesia, suggesting strong potential for upward salary growth within the Vietnamese tech sector.

Following the big boys

Besides big tech companies, some startups are now offering annual wage supplements (AWS), bonuses, restricted stock units (RSU), or employee stock ownership plans (ESOP).


Remote work is here to stay. Most founders have adjusted to the new normal, implementing staggered work schedules in the office or 100 per cent work-from-home policies. The report revealed the emergence of founders building completely remote teams and being more flexible on where to source the best talent.

Leverage SEA

A regionally-distributed talent strategy is a winning strategy. Given the wide range of salaries across SEA, many startups are shifting towards a strategy of regionally-distributed teams to take advantage of skill sets and compensation benchmarks across the region.

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Image Credit: Monk’s Hill Ventures

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