Money no enough for digital marketing talents

Agencies and organisations in Singapore are not fulfilling the needs of marketing, digital and creative talent in terms of remuneration and professional development, a new study by specialist recruiter font talent has found.

font’s Market Pulse 2014/15, which surveyed 500 respondents across Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, found numerous disconnects between what employers claim to be providing for employees, and what talent are actually receiving.

Money is the number one consideration for marketing talent in Singapore looking for new roles (81%), yet just 54% of professionals feel they have been fairly remunerated in the past year. Worryingly, just 35% of employers said they offer competitive base salaries above the market average, and only half offer incentives and bonus programmes. However, bonuses appear to be paid adequately, with 22% of talent receiving a bonus between both $3,000-$4,999 and $5,000-$6,999.

In Singapore, the top median annual salaries were found in Digital, Design and Production roles, followed by Creative and Creative Services, while the lowest was in Media (Media Planning, Digital Ad Sales, etc.)

When comparing in-house and agency wages, agencies came out on top with a median annual salary of $58,800, compared with $43,200 in-house. From a benefits perspective, in-house respondents reported more healthcare, company paid training and car park allowances, while agencies offered more flexible working hours, travel allowances, and phone allowances.

A large disconnect was also reported with flexible working hours. While 65% of employers surveyed said they offer flexible working hours as part of their overall benefits package, just 33% of candidates said they received them.

Similarly, just 34% of talent said their company had crafted a career development plan for them, despite 70% saying this is the second-most important factor they consider when looking for a new role.

“While cash is still a main motivator for marketing talent, both agencies and organisations won’t do themselves any favours by ignoring talent needs for professional development and training,” said Sandra Christie David, Singapore Country Manager at font. “While many companies will push training aside due to perceived cost, they would be better off looking at it as an investment in current talent who already understand their culture and goals, and who are more likely to be retained if they feel they are being invested in long-term.

“Companies must start to place professional development at the forefront for marketing talent, rather using it a promise during hiring and negotiations. The same goes for flexible working – companies need to decide exactly what this means to them, and ensure this is adequately communicated to current and potential employees to avoid any misunderstandings.”

Other notable Singapore data gathered from font’s Market Pulse includes:

• Only 46% of employees would recommend their employer as a great place to work
• 77% of employers are hiring contract, freelance and temporary staff
• 42% of employers state that women are placed in over 30% of senior roles
• Women (89%) value money higher than men (76%) when switching jobs. Men are slightly more likely to seek opportunities to develop (78%) than women (69%)
• More women than men (73% compared with 60%) have received a pay rise in the last 12 months
About font
font specialises in recruitment solutions for the Creative, Digital and Marketing sectors across Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. We exist to place talented specialists in temporary, contract or permanent jobs they love, and to help companies find, attract and retain the most outstanding talent in the marketplace. We place talented professionals in the areas of Executive Management; Digital, Design and Production; Creative and Creative Services; Account Management and Planning; Marketing and Communications, and Media. To find out more, visit


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