Unveiling the Salary Landscape: Exploring Trends and Dynamics in Compensation

Unhirable job profiles and the "money shower" during India's economic boom and VC bonanza have become quite spicy topics in the business world.

Navigating salary shifts in the ever-changing job market involves understanding various factors at play. Economic conditions and market trends have a significant influence, with prosperous times fueling higher salaries and uncertain times leading to adjustments. Venture capital funding plays a role too, as abundant funding creates competition and potential overpayment, while scarcity prompts financial constraints and adjustments.

We partnered with Compup by Hiresure to get access to the real-time survey of 300 startups, so we can dig into the sizzling details of salaries and understand the situation of Unhirable talent more.

1) Some wins and some losses

Comparing January 2022 to January 2023, we observed a decrease in salaries across various job profiles. When it comes to cold, hard cash, it seems that the warmth dwindled slightly. Total cash in hand experienced a 12% decrease, indicating a decline in salaries overall. Engineering and Finance saw a 4% decrease, Sales and Marketing had a 17% decrease, Operations faced a 14% decrease, and HR witnessed a 7% decrease. These changes indicate a general decline in salaries during this period. A cut shows a trend that 15-20% of people in the market are overvalued.

These changes in salary trends hint at a larger picture. It appears that 15-20% of people in the job market may have been overvalued, as the salary cuts indicate a necessary correction. So, if you're feeling a bit undervalued, take solace in the fact that you're not alone.

But let's not forget the bygone era of booming salaries, where venture capitalists demanded relentless growth. Companies invested in individuals to meet those ambitious targets, causing salaries to grow faster than skills. Perhaps a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

Now, let's talk about the shining stars and the disappointing dips in terms of salary growth. In the realm of Blockchain & AI/ML jobs, hope still prevailed with a commendable growth of 16%. It seems that these tech-savvy wizards continue to command attention and rewards.

However, spare a thought for the Partnership & Alliances folks within the Sales domain. They experienced a significant decline of 19.5% in their salary growth. It appears that forging strategic alliances wasn't enough to shield them from the downturn.

2) Bangalore’s Raining Money!!

But wait, there's more! Bangalore, the land of tech dreams, showed off its salary superiority over other metro cities. Tech roles in Bangalore flaunted a 7.5% higher paycheck on average, making other cities feel like they were missing out on the party. Obviously, there are increased deposits and sky-rocketing rent rates.

3) Unveiling the Crème de la Crème

In a world where new apps and ChatGPT are constantly emerging, everyone is embracing experimentation. Machine learning and AI have become the most sought-after jobs, while product marketing takes the lead on the non-tech side. After all, it's essential to see the product come to life and make an impact.

4) Why is this important for companies?

The buzzword, VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity), has become more prevalent now than ever before. With the ever-changing talent landscape, it is essential for organisations to attract top talent and at the same time retain their own best.

A rewards strategy of any organisation forms a huge part of their value proposition, in fact, startups have essentially relied on their rewards strategy to attract and retain talent.

The previous year saw a global phenomenon termed “the great resignation” and it pushed the markets to their edges, trying to pull the best talent towards them.

As a result, indiscriminate hiring, and bad hiring practices prevailed, derailing the budgets and affecting the top lines.

An insight into market trends through salary benchmarking is, therefore, essential to understanding the competitive landscape when it comes to hiring top talent or retaining the best talent.

Benchmarking data essentially helps organisations take rational decisions which are data-backed. It also helps organisations define their rewards philosophy and their total rewards structures in terms of monetary and non-monetary benefits.

2023 saw the phenomenon of “funding winter”, again affecting the rewards domain in startups. Long-term incentive tools such as ESOPs, performance shares etc are prevalent to help motivate and retain talent.

Again, to effectively implement these, data helps organisations make unbiased decisions, budget effectively, and cut costs without affecting employee morale or attracting potential

5) A Glimpse into India’s Funded Startups

6) Target Comp Ratios Shape Startup Promotions

63% of startups doing promotions take target compa-ratio as a deciding factor behind promotions. On average, we can expect a decline of 6 % in the promotions in 2023 as compared to 2022 due to market conditions.

7) How does it differ across genders and stages

“In the days we had funding, we were quite lavish with our expenses. We gave away expensive items as part of our promotional giveaways, all funded by venture capitalists. However, as time went on, the focus shifted to being more performance-driven and cost-conscious. Every expense was utilized and questioned for its necessity. We were constantly king ways to redcoats on tools and equipment, and finding hacks to optimize our spending. This shift also brought in key performance indicators (KPIs) and weekly calls to monitor progress. Prior to this, things had been smooth sailing without such formalities. This trend of performance-driven cultures with a focus on cost optimization seems to be happening everywhere.”, A product manager from a Health-tech said. 

The survey has shown how salary increments are driven by market factors like average increment in the market, sector performance etc., and internal factors such as the organisation’s performance and funding. With market corrections, both companies and individuals are identifying obsolete talent.