Sales recruitment is typically strong even in crisis times, as companies need to hire to meet targets, today we will break down most hired Sales positions in Southeast Asia.
Most recruited positionsMethodology
To do so we crunched some employment data about 23K Sales related positions (Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines) and grouped them by titles and seniority.
Demand is strong
If you are recruiting in that space, this is a busy segment and a lot of junior job offers. Advice: you compete for attention, make your title stands out on job boards to draw more clicks, and highlight what sets you apart in the title.
And the winner is: Sales Executive
The darling of job platforms is always the “Sales Executive”. Almost anywhere I look in the region this is always the #1 position being recruited out there, in any category. Sales Executives are widely popular, they are the infantry of corporate Sales armies.
You can find Sales Executives in volume sectors (eg. retail) and value selling (eg. tech) companies. There are unfortunately no real education programs nor “Sales Executive Academies” that companies can tap into, so this is mostly hired on behaviors and experience.
Sales Managers take the second place
Sales Manager takes second place of the podium by job offers volume. Although the title doesn’t always mean people management duties, the job can reflect higher responsibilities including account management and negotiation. Sales managers often come with an existing network, also much in demand!
Sales Assistants and their admin cousins
Sales Assistant, either as stand-alone Sales Assistant or as a Sales Assistant Manager make the 3rd most hired group. The title often hides administrative tasks.
This category can be combined with Sales Admin and Sales Support, which also makes up quite a large chunk ?, proving that Southeast Asia corporate sales functions are still rather manual: moving paperwork and spending time in quotation, bidding, payment chasing.
Companies that recruit widely for Sales assistants haven’t probably done their digital transformations yet, underestimating the long-term gains that would come with tech alternatives (namely CRM, marketing and sales automation, quotation systems, RPA, eSignature). This is hard change management (adoption!) but there is no way back.
Sales Assistants/Admin positions will probably decline in the long term. HR departments can start considering what it takes to upskill those positions. The knowledge about internal processes and products can then be retained and redirected towards added-value tasks.
Engineers, you are next!
Sales Engineer is only 4th on the podium but is hugely popular. Sales Engineer positions do requires a more technical academic background and is a preferred option for young engineering graduates attracted to business and compensations. For that reason, university partnerships are a good option to recruit.
Do you do what it takes to differentiate your job offers?
A word on the competition. The top positions in the list are entry-level positions (usually not technical), taken by ambitious and compensation-driven individuals who happen to be never short of a job (as you can see ^^), so turnover on those positions can be high.
Did you fight to hire, now how to retain? Retention is all about training sales teams to deliver performance (so they get their variable share %) and offering frequent transparent career paths to keep them engaged with the company.
At Huneety we do just that and help HR and Sales Excellence departments develop comprehensive skill frameworks and map employees’ strengths and gaps to prepare career moves with individualized development plans.
Now let’s step back from position titles and analyze other keywords combinations.
A large number of companies still hire “Sales & Marketing” positions. A Sales & Marketing Director is probably a legit position, but what about Sales & Marketing Sales Executive. This could seem to the candidate as a red flag ? in terms of poorly defined organizational structure or responsibilities. It is hard to believe that an individual at a junior level would have the skillset to successfully drive both Sales AND Marketing duties.
“Regional” scope positions do not make a large volume of the total dataset, they were more prevalent in Singapore (2/3 of regional sales positions in the region), which still operates as the regional Sales hub. Other markets recruiting regional scope were Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand (in that order).
Hope you found this interesting and that it triggered some thoughts ?, I will deep dive into another category soon if you would like to get some particular data, feel free to comment on this article on LinkedIn!