What To Know About Talent Acquisition in APAC

What To Know About Talent Acquisition in APAC

It’s a smart move to ramp up your talent acquisition game in APAC. The region is brimming with opportunity, but also fierce competition for the best and brightest. 

You'll need to bring your A-game to attract top talent here. Forget what worked in other markets - APAC is a whole new world. Candidates here want to know you understand them and their unique aspirations. They're looking for a cultural fit as much as career growth. 

If you can demonstrate you understand the region or country-specific challenges and needs you'll be well on your way to building an all-star team. 

Understanding the Talent Landscape in APAC: The Unique Challenges and Opportunities

The rapidly growing economies in APAC offer immense potential for businesses to tap into untapped markets and expand their operations. With a diverse population and rich cultural heritage, organisations have access to a wide range of talents with different perspectives and skills.

The talent landscape presents unique challenges and opportunities for companies looking to hire top talent. Many governments across APAC are taking proactive measures to address these challenges by investing in education and training programs aimed at bridging any skills gap. They are also implementing policies that encourage foreign talents to contribute their expertise towards regional growth.

Diverse Cultures and Languages

APAC encompasses a diverse range of cultures, ethnicities, languages, labour laws, and business practices. Effective recruiting strategies must account for cultural nuances and language barriers across different countries. 

For example, China utilises popular local social networks like WeChat for recruiting, while LinkedIn dominates in Singapore and Australia. Companies need to leverage the appropriate channels for each market. A localised approach is paramount.

Growing Populations and Workforces

Many APAC countries have large, growing populations and workforces. India and China each have over 1 billion people, while Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia also have booming youth populations. 

This results in a huge pool of potential candidates, especially for entry-level roles. However, competition is fierce, and candidates have more job opportunities, giving them increased bargaining power.

Poaching Talent

Poaching of top talent is common in APAC’s tight labour markets. Employees frequently jump to new opportunities for higher pay and career growth. 

To overcome these challenges, companies in APAC should utilise targeted recruiting, build a strong employer brand, offer competitive pay, prioritise talent development, and focus on talent retention. Leveraging the region’s opportunities and diverse talent pools will be key to success. 

Embracing Differences for Enhanced Performance 

To boost performance in the diverse APAC region, organisations must embrace differences and diversity. This commitment to diversity isn't just a box to tick; it's a strategy for success. 

Market Research Matters

Conducting comprehensive market research is the bedrock of a successful talent acquisition strategy in APAC. This involves understanding local salary benchmarks, in-demand skills, and cultural factors that influence recruitment. 

Leverage Cultural Knowledge

With many ethnic groups, religions, and languages, APAC's cultural landscape is complex. Hiring local talent who understand cultural nuances, behaviours and preferences is key. They can help avoid misunderstandings, tailor communication, and build rapport. Workplace cultural training for all employees, especially ex-pats, should cover topics like:

  • Business Etiquette
  • Communication Styles
  • Decision-making Processes
  • Relationship Building

When cultural knowledge is valued and shared, collaboration and productivity improve within the team seamlessly.

Support Inclusion

An inclusive environment where people feel respected and valued leads to greater creativity, innovation, and job satisfaction. Accommodate cultural and religious practices like prayer rooms or time off. Promote empathy through cross-cultural mentorship and networking programs.

Offer Flexibility

APAC's diversity calls for flexible work options. Some may prefer shorter work hours during religious periods like Ramadan, or time off for cultural festivals. Others may do their best work outside of typical business hours. When possible, provide:

  • Alternative work schedules
  • Remote work options
  • Generous leave policies

With the freedom to integrate cultural and work responsibilities, employees are likely to thrive and be retained.

Communicate Effectively

Miscommunication is common in APAC due to most talent being multi-lingual. Be sensitive in written and verbal communication. Translate key documents, such as contracts. Explain context and reasoning to avoid confusion. 

Most importantly, listen — pay attention to subtle cues and address implicit concerns. Effective communication and active listening are the foundations of a cohesive, productive APAC workforce.

Implementing a Data-Driven Approach To Talent Acquisition

To effectively acquire top talent in the APAC region, businesses need to leverage data and analytics. Implementing a data-driven approach to your talent acquisition strategy has many benefits.

Analyse Key Metrics

Track key metrics like time to hire, cost per hire, and source of hire. See which sources are generating the most hires and the highest quality candidates. Look at which job boards and social platforms candidates are coming from. Analyse which locations and schools are producing candidates that get hired and perform well. Use this data to optimize your recruiting efforts.

Refine Your Candidate Personas

Develop detailed candidate personas based on insights from your data. Personas help identify the attributes of ideal candidates for each role. Determine factors like experience, education, skills, motivations, values and behaviours. Build personas for high-performing current employees to model. Use personas to target passive candidates on the right channels.

Continuously Optimise Based on Data

Use data analytics to gain insight into what's working and not working in your process. Make ongoing optimizations and adjustments to improve the quality of hire, reduce time to fill, decrease cost per hire and boost the candidate experience. Review metrics regularly and look for trends to see the impact of changes you've made. Make data-driven decisions to enhance your talent acquisition strategies.

Adopting Innovative Sourcing Strategies

To find top talent in Asia Pacific, companies need to utilise innovative sourcing strategies. Traditional methods like posting on job boards or company websites alone won’t cut it. 

Look to social professional networks. Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed are heavily used in APAC. Create an engaging company profile and post jobs on these sites. Also, search for potential candidates and reach out to them directly. Many qualified individuals in Asia are open to new opportunities, even if not actively job hunting.

Build a talent community. Use your social media channels and company website to start curating a database of interested candidates. Offer resources or networking opportunities to add value. Stay in regular contact with members of your community, and tap into it when job openings arise. Members will appreciate your proactive outreach.

Attend industry events. Conferences, trade shows and meet-ups are ideal for finding specialised talent. Set up a booth, sponsor an event or simply attend to network. Engage people in casual conversation to identify promising candidates. Get business cards and follow up to express your interest in their experience and background.

Partner with schools. Build relationships with universities, colleges and training programs in fields related to your business. Offer to guest lecture, mentor students or participate in career panels and fairs. These partnerships will increase your visibility and access to up-and-coming talent. Provide internships, co-op programs or entry-level jobs to candidates you want to groom for long-term roles.

Leverage referrals. Let your current employees and professional connections know you have roles to fill. Offer incentives for successful referrals. Referred candidates tend to have a higher retention rate since they come recommended by someone familiar with your company culture. Referrals are an easy, low-cost sourcing method to incorporate.

Leveraging Employer of Record Services for Cross-Border Hiring

As organisations in APAC expand into new markets, hiring top talent across borders becomes crucial for success. However, navigating the legal and compliance issues around international hiring can be complicated. Employer of record (EOR) services offer an efficient solution.

An EOR such as Innovare, handles HR administration and acts as the legal employer for businesses hiring and expanding into a region or country. When you use an EOR for cross-border hiring, the EOR employs candidates on your behalf and places them on assignment at your company. 

This allows you to onboard global talent quickly while the EOR manages responsibilities like payroll, benefits, taxes, and local employment law compliance.

Some of the main benefits of using an EOR for international hiring in APAC include:

  • Simplified hiring process. An EOR has expertise in employment regulations across APAC and can efficiently handle all legal and compliance aspects of hiring in new countries. This reduces the administrative burden on your internal teams.
  • Mitigated risk. By relying on an EOR as the legal employer, you avoid the risks of non-compliance with local labour laws and regulations. The EOR ensures complete compliance regarding the employer’s liabilities across all areas of the employment relationship.
  • Access to global talent pools. An EOR allows you to hire candidates all over APAC, even in countries where you have no legal entity. This gives you access to a wider range of highly qualified talent across borders.
  • Scalability. As you expand into new APAC countries, an EOR can quickly scale to support your changing talent needs. They have the infrastructure and expertise to employ workers across multiple locations.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Although EOR fees vary depending on location and services, they are often more cost-effective than establishing your own legal entities in new countries for the purpose of hiring. An EOR provides a flexible solution with minimal overhead costs.

Using an employer of record service, such as Innovare, for cross-border hiring in APAC allows companies like yours to tap into valuable global talent pools with ease and efficiency. By leveraging an EOR, you can onboard the best candidates across APAC, no matter where they're located. Focus on finding the right talent—let the EOR handle the rest.

Innovare provides a comprehensive range of payroll and HR services, including compliance and recruitment advisory, labour contract and work visa management and statutory contributions administration.

Our goal is to complement your internal HR professionals, offering specialised support where it's needed most. With Innovare, you can streamline HR functions, reduce costs, and ensure your organisation is poised for long-term success.