By Lucy Dunn
Working in the growing and emerging markets is truly exciting for many; it creates more employment opportunities, and enables people with big ideas to thrive, and in turn generate more job-openings. As a recruitment consultant, I often have candidates asking me about their “market price", or their worth, so-to-speak. Some people are more curious than others. Even those who are not exactly actively looking for a new job may have questions because they are being constantly bombarded with potential opportunities. Employees often find themselves thinking – “what am I worth”, “what kind of remuneration packages do I deserve?”, “how much money are my peers making?”

As long as you are an employee, there is a “price tag” or "salary range" of your position.  The determining factors are usually a combination of the following:

Your specialization - What are you specialized in? What is your job function? If you are in sales, are you selling externally or internally? Are you selling mass or niche? Your profession very much determines your earning potential.

Your markets and connections - Are your customers global corporations or mom-and-pop shops? What is your territory? Local, regional, national, or multi-national? Needless to say that the bigger revenue you create for your employer, the more handsome rewards you reap, both financially as well as promotional prospects.

Your location – do not expect to be take home the same amount if you live and work in a place not categorized as a “first city”. You certainly will benefit from the economy of scale (well, it comes with the high cost of living) when you work in metropolitans such as Hong Kong and Shanghai.  Also in today’ this new world economy, many things are going mobile and in some cases virtual.  With all the new gadgets that are available, both companies and candidates are getting creative and smarter about how and where work is done. I can certainly see that some work/function can be performed even more effectively right at the customers operation or somewhere other than at the office.

Your employer – “The bigger the better” does not always apply. Some big companies understand that candidates enjoy the prestige, culture, products, and/or a big brand, and they are willing to work for less money because it looks good on the CV, or it makes them look good in front of their friends and family. Having said that, the more global the employer, the more well-rounded benefits you will get, may that be in monetary term, educational or training opportunities, or fringe benefits.

I believe the above fundamental criteria will remain, perhaps there could well be other factors emerging.  There are also intangible factors that cause the employer offering to pay a premium for a candidate. Criteria such as advance degrees or education at a premier university, proven management experience, as well as perhaps previously working at a company the hiring manager a.k.a. your future boss respects or has worked for all can add to their belief that you are the right person to make a difference.

Watch the space for future articles of interest for star candidates and innovative companies.

Lucy Dunn is partner at, a recruitment specialist in Supply Chain & Logistics in Greater China. She has over 15 years of business experience, at both recruitment service providers and the end-users, in London, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

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