The report on how 60% of fresh grads surveyed expect a salary of RM3,500 for their first job is something we’ve been thinking of.
From attitude problems to unrealistic demands, young job seekers continue to receive flak for expecting too much without earning it.
But we wondered if there ever would be a scenario where a fresh grad might be deemed worthy of the RM3.5k salary demanded.
Would employers stick to the fresh grad average of RM2,100 to RM2,500 or would they give that employee with potential a chance to prove their worth?
We asked people from 8 different industries to find out if they would ever consider giving fresh graduates the salary of RM3,500 (or above) and here are their responses.
A representative from an insurance company shared how he would consider it so long as the candidate has a good attitude, high drive and a positive mindset—but only for sales and marketing.
“If the candidate is applying for an admin position, RM3.5k would be considered too high,” he said.
A systems analyst from a local telecommunication company replied no, simply because when hiring for his department, a set of skills is required which a lot of fresh graduates would not possess.
“Our development deals with a lot of coding and technical tasks that may not be easy for fresh graduates who have never dealt with these. The years of experience is what makes an employee’s salary worth so I would say that fresh graduates should build this up before asking for a higher pay,” said the analyst.
A hiring manager from an accounting firm clarified that when it came to the different departments, every one requires a certain level of skill and experience. Having to deal with various clients, a fresh graduate requires a lot of training and teaching for them to master their craft. The salary they get should match their expertise level.
“We do look at their professional certificates and could possibly consider it but the possibility is low. The highest we would probably consider would be RM3,000 but any higher is unlikely,” shared the manager.
4. Broadcasting Media
A hiring manager from a media company said they would consider the candidate if they’re alright with the long and odd working hours.
“Media never has a proper schedule so we expect candidates who ask for a higher salary to understand this and be able to meet with our requirements. We also don’t provide coverage for their transportation and other expenses so what their salary comprises of will need to supply their own needs,” said the manager.
5. Oil & Gas
Although the oil and gas field is seen as a well-paid one, fresh graduates generally don’t receive a higher salary than RM3,200. According to a hiring manager in an oil and gas company, this is already considerably high.
“We usually have our fresh graduates go under a training programme for them to learn the skills and adapt to the new environment before they move on to a higher level. So the salary they receive should reflect that and not be too high,” said the manager.
A finance executive from a local bank shared that they would consider paying the RM3,500 salary should the candidate meet their requirements.
“We’re alright with this demand if the candidate has all the certification we’re looking for along with the right attitude. Also, these candidates should also understand the policies of our bank and how there is a certain image we uphold before we consider them,” shared the executive.
A head of department said for a starting lecturer or a researcher to work in their university, the salary request is just too high.
“Though they may have the academic qualification, there is a sense of experience we’d like to see before evaluating their worth. Most fresh graduates can talk the talk, but walking the walk is where they fail. It’s understandable seeing as how they just left their academic studies. So in that perspective, they should understand why we as employers cannot entertain their demand,” he said.
Especially with the startup scene, employers can be more stringent with their hiring. We talked to the founder of a logistics startup and he said he wouldn’t be willing to give RM3,500 to a fresh graduate simply because of the lack of experience they have.
“Sure, their certification from university and qualifications may be extensive but when it comes to running a startup, we just don’t have the right means to take in someone for such a price unless we get funding for it first. Besides, I think a fresh graduate who’s willing to grow with us would understand that the amount requested is too much and re-negotiate,” said the founder.
So fresh grads, it turns out that a RM3,500 starting salary may not be entirely out of your reach after all. It seems that your attitude, set of skills and which industry you go into are key factors to consider.