IT Professionals' Salary Rise in Indonesia Outdoing Pure Management Positions
The rapid expansion of the tech industry - highlighted by the mushrooming of startups - has propelled the demand for IT professionals, from UX designers to SEO experts. However, the availability for manpower for these newish jobs is limited, and as the rules of economy go, the limited supply has prompted a quick rise in the prices, i.e. salaries, of those with the aforesaid skills.
Jason Lamuda, CEO of e-commerce site, Berrybenka, explained that demand for capable professionals surge as startups look to expand rapidly following the injection of large investments. "And startups prefer hiring people with experience rather than having to train newbies the basics. But hiring such experienced people is tough because the talent pool is limited," he noted.
The demand for IT professionals is even more pronounced among companies which need their systems running non-stop.
Budi Gandasoebrata, General Manager of Veritrans Indonesia, said that e-commerce required round-the-clock stability given that transactions streamed in for 24-hours from local, regional, and international shoppers. Veritrans provides payment gateway solutions to e-commerce platforms. Hence, he said that IT professionals sound in infrastructure and security technology were critical in ensuring that systems ran smoothly.
"We do place a high value on software developers. And as our demand increases, so does our level of appreciation," Gandasoebrata pointed out.
Indonesia is definitely climbing up the ranks as an investment zone for companies. The country rose four spots to the 34th position out of 144 economies in the World Economic Forum's 2014-2015 Global Competitive Index. The country ranked 38th in the 2013-2014 edition and 50th in the 2012-2013 edition.
Nadiem Makarim, CEO of Go-Jek, further said that the salaries of IT professionals have been rising by at least 30 - 40 percent year-on-year, outdoing the 20 percent increase in normal, management positions. "There definitely are junior techies valued at senior management role," he noted.
Lamuda further pointed out that salaries of IT professionals have been ascending by 30 up to 50 percent per annum. General inflation and higher minimum wages also play an effect.
And the rise in wages happen even at the very start. The starting salary for marketing staffers used to be around Rp 3 million, and now, the number was at approximately Rp 4 million. "On the same note, managers were previously paid Rp 15 million, but now, get approximately Rp 20 million," he added.
Yet, Makarim said that the upwards climb of techie salaries were "totally justified". "Relative to Singapore and Malaysia, their salaries are not as high," he noted.
The higher wages in Singapore and Malaysia is a mirror to both countries' higher position in the Global Competitive Index. Singapore ranks second while Malaysia ranks 20th.
Lamuda even added that the escalating salaries were more of a pitfall for IT professionals themselves. The enlarging salaries could entice IT professionals to jump from one startup to another in pursuit of bigger paychecks.
"The startup world is small, so it does not go well to know that a person has been jumping from one place to another. Startups are smart; the know when someone is doing their job out of passion, or is concerned solely with money," he said. Oppositely, he added that startups should not only offer money to attract and retain talent.
"People work at startups not primarily for the money, but because they want to be in a company where they could learn a lot. Your people will go away from you if they can find another place where they can learn more," he said.
"Therefore, startups should also understand that their employees are not serfs, but people who stay to grow their knowledge," he concluded.