For the past weeks I've been bombarded with questions from fellow Pinoys wanting to work here in Singapore. The most annoying I got so far is, "How much is the salary for IT Manager like me?" (some even say, "Magkano offer?" or "Magkano bigayan?" like I have already shortlisted them). Like I said in my first entry about working here, I don't really care about your title, even the companies don't. As most of you know, I am a Headhunter and not just your regular internal HR practitioner, not that I underestimate the capacity of an internal Recruiter. I don't. It's just that we have different sets of responsibilities, contrary to popular belief among people outside of the corporate world. Normally, HR Generalist of small companies do the end to end recruitment, while those HR working for bigger companies process shortlisted candidates coming from headhunters (I know what most internal HR say, that the quality of candidates from external recruiters isn't there.. like we are only after the number of profiles endorsed.. well, please do not GENERALIZE. :))

HR of small companies (or big end user environment) are usually the ones hiring generalist positions here in Singapore (do not seek help from headhunters much to minimize recruitment cost). System integrators/big companies/MNCs have specialized positions such as Project Managers (Applications or Infrastructure), Service Delivery Managers, Network Engineers/Administrators, System Engineers/Administrators, Storage Administrators and a lot more. Since I am a Headhunter, I am usually working on positions for big companies, hence, focusing more on specialized skills. I am not really looking for all around IT Managers like most Pinoys approaching me lately. I can only accommodate an IT Manager's profile, if he has SOLID experience in a specific area (coz like I said, sometimes the title doesn't speak much for one's skill/experience). Let me just help you in finding an internal Recruiter who does recruitment for IT Manager and the likes.

Now going back to the main point of  this entry, honestly I hate hearing that question. I am a Recruiter, I practice end to end slash full cycle recruitment process (requirements gathering, sourcing via traditional and non traditional methods, screening, shortlisting, job matching/profiling, negotiating, job offers up to closing the requirements). I do not just jump to the end part which is naming your price. Nonetheless, do you know the simplest (and most sensible) thing you can do to make me answer your question (without me having to go through the whole process of recruitment, if you're not really my official candidate)?

- Send me your resume.
- Talk to me like I am interviewing you.
- Highlight your skills/experience.

And I'll name your price... well, just a range. Hahaha. Jooooke. :P

Seriously speaking, everytime I talk to candidates and they ask me how much the salary is, I ask them in return, "How much are you expecting?". I don't usually disclose my client's budget, it is for the candidate to sell himself and give an idea of how much he is worth. But of course, if I feel that he's asking too much for his experience (and beyond the client's budget), that's when I tell the figures and the truth. After all, I hate wasting time if I am certain an application would go nowhere.

Please take note as well that a good candidate for me expresses his expectations (including the salary) so I can help him further negotiate, even more if I know he deserves it. On the other hand, a not-so-good candidate for me says, "How much is the maximum budget for this?" (like he is worth the highest salary for the post). Always be reminded that too much confidence can turn off a Hiring Manager. Be confident, but not boastful.

Regardless if you're my candidate or not, please always keep in mind that you cannot just ask like that. Coz I wouldn't be able to give you a good answer. I'm not good in telling a lie as well, if you're not worth my time I will definitely say it. In a veracious but composed manner, of course. After all, honesty is the best policy, right? :P


  1. singapore seems to have become a mecca for filipino tech workers. they're usually good bets. you must be proud of selling, representing them. they're smart and hard working. when push comes to shove, their ability to fix a problematic code stands out. hey, sometimes the solution may not be elegant but as long as it works, who cares? everybody is happy except those who stick on going by the book.

    i understand that you can't apply for permanent residence in singapore. it has to be offered to you. is that true?

    1. Yes, a lot of Pinoy IT guys are trying their luck here. And yes, they're good.. its just that lately most companies have been trying to limit getting foreign talents (prioritizing locals & trying to balance races in a team) so we, recruiters, are having difficulty in sourcing (even the best Pinoy IT guys are finding it hard to land a job in SG lately).

      "i understand that you can't apply for permanent residence in singapore. it has to be offered to you. is that true?" -- You can apply for Permanent Residence (hard to get approved these days though). You're lucky if you are offered (to APPLY).


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