Are You Paying Your Employees Enough?

August 17, 2023
Vimalesvaren Palasekaran

Salary benchmarking is the process of comparing your salary and benefits against industry standards and competitors. It involves gathering data on compensation practices for similar roles, experience levels, and geographic locations. This benchmarking analysis provides valuable insights into market trends, helping everyone understand how they stack up against the competition.

Whether you’re a startup, an HR practitioner, or a potential candidate, salary benchmarking is a beneficial exercise to help you understand whether you are offering competitive remuneration to your employees.

Let’s take a look at how you could fully utilise this practice to optimise your process.


Startups face unique challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. Offering competitive salaries and benefits is crucial for building a skilled and motivated team. However, without the resources of larger, established companies, startups must find innovative ways to determine appropriate compensation packages.    

Benefits of salary benchmarking for startups

1. Competitive advantage  

In the fast-paced world of startups, attracting top talent can make or break your success. Salary benchmarking empowers you to offer competitive compensation packages, making your startup an appealing choice for skilled professionals.

2. Fair compensation  

Salary benchmarking ensures your employees receive fair pay based on industry norms and their contributions. This fosters a positive work environment, increasing job satisfaction and reducing turnover.

3. Budget allocation

Startups often face limited financial resources. Salary benchmarking allows you to allocate your budget effectively, ensuring you are investing in key roles critical to your company's growth.

4. Investor confidence  

Investors want to see that their funds are being used wisely. Demonstrating that your startup's compensation practices are aligned with industry standards builds investor confidence in your leadership and financial decision-making.

HR executives

In the fast-paced and competitive world of talent acquisition and retention, Human Resources (HR) executives play a crucial role in ensuring their organizations remain attractive to top talent. Salary benchmarking is a powerful practice that empowers HR executives to make data-driven decisions regarding compensation and benefits.

Benefits of salary benchmarking for HR executives

1. Staying competitive in the talent market

To attract the best candidates, HR executives must offer competitive salaries that align with industry norms. Salary benchmarking provides critical insights into prevailing compensation trends, allowing organisations to remain competitive in the talent market.

2. Attracting and retaining top talent

A well-structured compensation package can significantly impact employee retention and motivation. Salary benchmarking ensures that HR executives can design competitive packages that attract and retain top talent.

3. Fair and equitable compensation

Ensuring fair and equitable compensation is essential for maintaining a positive workplace culture. Salary benchmarking helps HR executives eliminate pay disparities and create a level playing field for all employees.

What about job seekers?

As a job seeker, finding the right job with an attractive compensation package is crucial for personal and professional growth. However, understanding whether the salary offered is fair and competitive can be challenging. Enter salary benchmarking, a powerful practice that empowers potential candidates to make informed decisions and negotiate effectively.  

Benefits of salary benchmarking for potential candidates

1. Empowered negotiation  

Armed with accurate salary data, candidates can confidently negotiate with prospective employers. Knowing the industry standards for their desired role gives you a solid foundation to request fair and competitive compensation.   

2. Avoiding salary disparities  

Salary benchmarking helps candidates identify potential salary disparities in the job market. It prevents undervaluing your skills and experience, ensuring you don't settle for less than you deserve.   

3. Making informed career decisions  

Candidates can use salary benchmarking to compare job offers from different companies. It enables you to evaluate which opportunity aligns best with your financial goals and career aspirations.  

How to Implement Salary Benchmarking  

1. Research online compensation resources  

Numerous online platforms and websites offer salary data and compensation insights for various industries and job roles. Research these resources to gather accurate and up-to-date information. Some of the most popular sites include the Michael Page Malaysia Salary Comparison Tool and the latest Malaysia Salary Guide by PERSOLKELLY Malaysia.

2. Job role and responsibility match  

Ensure that the roles you compare are similar in terms of responsibilities, experience required, and geographic location. This provides more accurate and relevant data.   

3. Analyse benefits packages  

Besides salaries, benchmark your benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible work arrangements. A comprehensive benefits package can be a significant attraction for prospective roles.

4. Network and seek professional advice

Connect with industry peers, mentors, or career advisors to gain insights into salary trends and expectations. Experienced professionals can provide valuable guidance on negotiating effectively.   

5. Stay updated  

Markets change rapidly, and so do compensation trends. Regularly update your salary benchmarking data to remain current and adaptable in the competitive talent market.   

Salary benchmark resources

Need a quick list of salary benchmarking data resources available to you? We've compiled some resources here:

  1. Malaysia Salary Guide 2023 by Michael Page Malaysia
  1. Salary Checker by Hays Malaysia  
  1. Malaysia Salary Guide 2023 by Grabjobs
  1. Career Advice Salary Guide by Jobstreet Malaysia
  1. Salary Survey 2023 by Robert Walters Malaysia

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