When looking for a new job, it is definitely useful to refer to a salary guide to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the good work that you do.
Imagine if your employer could actually pay you $300 more per month for your work! That will add up to $300 X 12 months = $3,600 per year. It really makes a difference in the long term!
There has been a slow march toward greater workplace pay transparency over the past few years.
Many websites like PayScale and Glassdoor came online. We also started having easier access to annual salary surveys by recruitment agencies. These armed workers with salary data to help negotiate raises or pay at new jobs.
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What are the limitations of current sources?
While many of these online resources do have their strengths, these platforms also have their limitations specifically to the salary guides they publish.
In some sources, the data collected is generally at an aggregated level. This includes annual salary guides by recruitment agencies and the Graduate Employment Survey. It is not specific to the company or the role itself.
For other sources such as Glassdoor, there are several limitations as well.
Firstly, there may not be that much local data as these platforms may not be widely used by the general Singapore population.
Sometimes, the salary information is self-reported and not necessarily verified or validated by employers.
The data might also be more likely to be accurate for larger companies with many contributions versus smaller companies. Yet, SMEs employ up to 70 per cent of our workforce and this salary data for SMEs, is critical to a huge percentage of our population.
Of course, a more accurate method would be to ask your peers. However, some Singaporeans are still conservative about discussing money.
They consider discussing salary as ‘taboo’ and do not see the value in revealing how much they are paid yet.
So, where can you get salary data which is specific to the company, the role and Singapore market?
Based on my research of multiple job portals and salary guides, I found MyCareersFuture to be the most accurate source of salary data in Singapore.
MyCareersFuture is a portal that aims to provide Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents with a fast and smart job search service to match them with relevant jobs, based on their skills and competencies.
Developed by WSG in partnership with the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), about 200,000 individuals and 27,000 employers have been actively using the portal for their job search and hiring needs in the past year.
In 2020, MyCareersFuture made salary declaration a mandatory field when publishing jobs on the portal. This differentiated the platform from all the other job portals which did not make this a compulsory field.
It was a game changer for the portal, transforming them to one of the most accurate salary guides in Singapore.
It was a win-win move for job seekers and employers. On one hand, job seekers benefited from the information transparency.
On the other, employers win as well. They are able to better manage the expectations of individuals upfront. Being open also gives greater credibility and legitimacy to the job posting.
Beyond searching by roles, you can also search by company name itself. Here is an example from Policypal Pte Ltd.
How do employees benefit from this change?
This helps those interested in joining the company to remove the guesswork.
You can decide if the pay range fits you even before applying for the role. After all, why go through rounds of interviews only to find that the budget does not fit you?
You can also use this data during salary negotiations after you have received an offer. After all, this was posted by the employers themselves.
Being able to view salaries by companies helps you identify the level of the role vis a vis others within the same company.
For instance, in the above example, we see that Policypal Pte Ltd pays Marketing Associates $2,300 to $3,300. However, if you get promoted to Senior Marketing Associate or Marketing Manager, you can draw $3,000 to $6,000 per month.
These valuable data helps interested candidates identify their growth potential in the organization.
It also helps current employees with salary negotiations if they were to get promoted.
Current employees can also compare this data with companies in Fintech such as Moneysmart, Seedly, and Endowus. They can decide if it makes financial sense to stay in their current organization.
There are many other aspects of this portal which I like besides the fact that you get access to salary data.
First of all, I actually know of people who got responses when submitting an application for a job there.
Besides some of my peers, some of the commenters on Reddit’s r/Singapore also shared that they received successful offers from using the website.
Another benefit of this portal is that you can narrow your search to jobs with govt support.
This is especially useful for fresh graduates or early career professionals who are seeking a workplace attachment.
Simply filter by Government Support and you’d see all the options available and which are covered by the various schemes rolled out to encourage companies to hire locals and PRs.
Some limitations of the MyCareersFuture portal
As with every portal, employers sometimes do not respond to individuals.
If employers do not respond, it is worth relooking at your job search strategy. Some of my recommendations include contacting the hiring manager directly through LinkedIn or work email.
Applying through a job portal is after all only one of the ways to get noticed by the company and hiring manager.
A limitation however is that a small portion of these roles do not come with salaries.
I checked with the MyCareersFuture team regarding this. They shared that these postings only make up 3 per cent of all jobs posted.
You would also notice that the salaries are in ranges and sometimes it could vary widely.
Ultimately, the final amount they decide to give you would depend on market forces; how well you performed at the interview; how much the various decision-makers like you, and the unique experiences and skills which you can bring to the table.
If you are looking for a portal where you get salary information specific to a role and company, and directly from the Employer’s mouth, MyCareersFuture is the indisputable choice.
In my personal view, it beats many salary guides out there with the level of granularity it provides. I feel really glad that we have a resource like this which provides us with such accurate data and down to such a specific level.
Even if you are not looking for a role, you can also check out your market rate and also whether you are fairly compensated in your role at your current firm.
Check out the website here, login with your Singpass and do test it out. 🙂
Wish you all the best in your job search and career growth!
This post was written in collaboration with Workforce Singapore
What other factors impact your income?
There are many factors that impact your salary. Access to salary data is just one of them. If you are interested in the other factors, I’ve covered them in my video here: