HRO Today Global Winter 2018 - 31

APAC Report
What is APAC's Top Talent Seeking?
Given the intense competition for high-skilled talent within the APAC region, the balance of power has shifted towards job candidates
rather than the companies hoping to hire them. As a result, organisations must take into consideration the top four factors that APAC
employees seek from employers of choice:
1. Professional development.
" Opportunities for growth and promotion
are key drivers for employees in APAC, and
this is frequently one of the levers behind
high employee turnover. This is especially
true in China where career progression
and professional development are the
number one factors to retaining high-performing employees, " says
Bank or America Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President and APAC
Head of Talent Acquisition, Natalie Tait. By providing leadership
development and training programmes, employers can engage
employees while allowing them to develop their skills.
2. High compensation. Historically,
compensation has been a key element that
organisations use to differentiate themselves
among high-quality candidates. " Being
an emerging market, APAC is more of an
employee-driven rather than employerdriven
market. Turnover is seen more at
the junior level than senior level. Markets like China, India, and
Singapore have great job opportunities and are expanding quickly,
making it easy for people to get jobs. As a result, people generally
is causing a skilled worker deficit in fields like science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics and a surplus
of low-skilled workers in others, such as administration
and manufacturing, " Baker explains.
Although the causes of skilled labour shortages vary
across countries, MSD's Director of Talent Acquisition in
Asia Pacific Shanoo Singh outlines two major contributing
factors:
* Inadequate education. According to Singh, " The main
causes of talent shortages in the APAC region are
education systems that do not make students and young
talent immediately employable-hence the need for
bridge programmes-and focus on developing technical
skills first and leadership skills much later. "
Even when providing technical training, education systems
in APAC countries can rarely keep up with market demand.
" Whilst several countries have invested significantly in
education for their growing populations, particularly
in technology skills, even this influx of new, talented
populations isn't managing to keep pace with demand, "
leave for small increments in salary. However, at the senior level,
turnover is lower and whenever it happens, it is usually because of
better career prospects, " explains Shanoo Singh, director of talent
acquisition in Asia Pacific at MSD.
3. Meaningful work. " Young
professional staff in China are looking for
meaning in their work. The paycheck is
important, but they also want to know
why they are doing what they are doing
and what difference it makes. Employers
with strong corporate social responsibility
programmes have an advantage, especially if they promote
charitable activities that associate strongly with their brand, " says
Ker Gibbs, China managing director at Korn Ferry Futurestep.
4. Efficiency. " Candidates expect quick
answers, and they'll often go with an
employer with the fastest offer rather than
the best offer. This behaviour is part of
what drives the frequent job changes that
China is known for, " says Gibbs.
explains Sarah Wong, managing director of Allegis Global
Solutions APAC. " Many APAC economies have now
become the training ground for leading-edge companies
in North America and Europe, creating further shortfalls in
talent supply for APAC. "
* Lack of leadership skills. Because leadership skills are
not prioritised early on, many of APAC's job candidates
lack the necessary know-how to succeed in high-level
management positions. " In terms of leadership skills,
the challenges that occur are around the cultural fit of
candidates and the ability to work across boundaries in a
highly networked world, " says Singh.
Racing for Top Talent
In addition to talent shortages, businesses operating
in APAC must also contend with increased competition
for talent in an already tight labour pool of qualified
candidates. This is particularly true for multinational
corporations whose strict salary structures and highly
standardised HR processes make it difficult to compete
with more flexible local companies.
WINTER 2018 | www.hroglobal.com
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HRO Today Global Winter 2018

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