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Opinion: New salary guide sees employers in SG betting on the future of the industry

Opinion: New salary guide sees employers in SG betting on the future of the industry

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While there is a global crisis happening in terms of cost of living, here in Singapore people are feeling the pinch from rapidly rising rental prices, which is in addition to long being known as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. The huge hikes in rental costs are impacting many but especially those on lower salaries, who likely have less buffer against rising costs.

Each year we release a salary guide for the industry, to share what the market is doing in terms of remuneration. It helps us serve both the businesses and candidates we work with to give them real data on what the industry is paying people in various roles. Aspire’s Salary Guide looks at roles in marketing, sales, advertising and technology, and shares a sliding scale of what someone might earn for various positions here in Singapore. 

Rising support for those earning less

It’s been really warming to see employers in Singapore stepping up and increasing salaries for many different roles in the last year, but in large for those earning less. While a move in roles isn’t always about money, the current state of costs in Singapore points to the need for good remuneration among other benefits.

Across the board, there are many green arrows within the salary guide showing increases since the previous year’s report. Over 95% of the starting salaries of each role have either increased or stayed the same, showing a dedication to support those in new positions. Many of the upper limits of roles have also gone up - especially for those with less than five years’ experience. 

In the marketing sector, execs on the team are seeing the most uplift in salaries, with an increase of SG$1,000 or a 40% bump for many junior candidates. There is a huge demand for good in-house entry level marketing talent, CRM execs and social media execs that can grow with an organisation.

This also points to the need to support them through this difficult time by offering a salary that can cover rising rental prices and an often crippling cost of living here in the Lion City. While this is a move in the right direction, companies should continue to evaluate their graduate and junior salaries to ensure they are attracting the best talent for the long-term success of the industry.

Those in more junior positions in the area of content creation have also seen a significant increase in the average starting salary - with many benefiting from a 30-40% uplift. The growing need for more and more well-written digital content has forced a positive uplift on both lower and upper levels of salaries for people with under five years’ experience.

Industry in need of strategic minds, while leveling the playing field for other roles

Strategy roles have seen the most uplift due to a huge demand for people with these kinds of skills at all levels - with some positions seeing a 200% increase. Strategic roles play a crucial role to ensure that campaigns are aligned with overall business objectives and target audience needs, and that brands stay competitive by constantly adapting to changing consumer preferences and industry trends.

The lack of talent in this area could be due to the fact that juniors in previous years have chosen other career routes such as client services and content creation over strategy.

While we are seeing businesses offer better rewards as spending throughout the industry returns to pre COVID levels, there are still roles that are reducing back to level the playing field following significant increases over the years.

Roles within the programmatic sector will have seen inflation due to high demand in recent years, but as the area settles in to become part of the media mix, salaries seem to be coming down slightly. Most of these downward movements are for the more senior candidates, meanwhile it’s positive to see the junior candidates in these areas seeing an upward trend.

Technology still reassessing their talent needs following industry-wide layoffs

Unsurprisingly, salaries in the technology sector are at a standstill while companies restructure after recent layoffs. Most of the salary brackets remained the same compared to last year - the least movement compared to any other areas we looked at. It’s unlikely this will last long.

Tech companies have the most potential to rebuild and improve following redundancies. They will be in the best position to adopt automation and other technological solutions to help them return to steady growth and build an even stronger foundation for the future.

How do these salary changes impact the industry as a whole?

It’s interesting to see the demand-led increases and decreases forming within the industry to right itself - raises to attract new talent to the industry in the areas of strategy and decreases at the point when high demand has leveled out for certain roles. This shows a level of intelligence by those hiring at all levels, that they are willing to move salaries as their need to hire good talent in certain areas grows.

While those in the technology sector have an obvious need to sit tight and reassess the direction of the company before more increases, it’s really positive to see growth in other areas of the marketing and advertising industry. Businesses now have a keen focus on building businesses for the future by fostering junior talent.

If you’d like to read Aspire’s Salary Guide reports in more detail, please download them here.

The article was written by Alycia Brady, managing director, Singapore, Aspire.

Related articles: 

Marketers, here's your 2023 SG salary guide across industries
2023 salary guide for SG marketing and communications industry
Switching jobs? Here's the salary increment SG marketing folks can expect

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