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5 ways to improve yourrecruitment in Asia-Pacificby Kumar Bhaya and Peter Hamilton
1 / Know what motivatesWhile it’s true that, for most employees underpinnings to this way of operating—and other customer organisations, you’ll need employees globally, but demonstrating thearound the world, it takes a lot more than organisations need to recognise these. to ensure their business cards and job titles way in which your organisation is innovative,just a good salary to attract and retain them, prove that they are worth the customers’ shows leadership and gives back to thethere are some significant differences in what Offering an employee opportunities and attention. Otherwise, you can be setting community is a major advantage in the region.motivates people across regions. Cultural responsibility as a way of attracting and your people up for failure from the outset. retaining them is fine, but organizations must For the foreseeable future there remainsnorms and values have a lot to do with also show that they (literally) value their workers • Leverage your corporate reputation the need to have distinct (and often quiteemployee expectations and motivations. and demonstrate that they have real ‘worth’. Working for a profitable, influential and socially different) hiring, retention and rewardHow and why these differences emerge responsible organisation is a key goal of many strategies in the different regions. In Asia, hiring managers are more likely thanis not the key issue—rather, when we’re in any other region to cite ‘uncompetitivehiring we must simply recognise that they salaries’ as the main barrier to securing theexist and do our best to respond. right staff. Four in ten firms in Asia-Pacific outsource benefits and compensationAlthough the labour market varies widely processes to help them keep pace withacross the Asia-Pacific region, in those key changing expectations and talent shortages.markets with talent shortages, several key What motivates employees: western versus Asia-Pac cultural normsmotivators for employees can generally be While there is not always room to movefound. These have less to do with skills and Western motivators Asia-Pac motivators on salaries, considering other elements toexperience and much more to do with the build responsibility, influence and status into Development: being exposed to new Status: all elements of a role that signal highervalue that employees perceive they have— a role can also make it more attractive. and challenging experiences, being status: Job titles, management status, includingboth within and outside of the organisation. For example: given the opportunity to put into the size of the team the role manages, and the practice new skills, learning and ideas. profile of the projects and work that is done.‘Worth’ has a specific context in the Asia- • The right titlePacific market. In many ways, it’s more literal. Job titles are much more important in Asia Leadership: being offered the opportunity Financial reward: being paid a salary thatGenerally speaking, this is partly because than in most other developed markets. While to lead others and transfer knowledge. those in the candidate’s’ social and familialemployees are expected to play a bigger role this may be difficult to balance as a global circle would revere. A higher salary often bringsin supporting those around them, including operation with like-candidates in other parts with it more responsibility to support othersoffering financial support, than employees of the world, job titles can be critical for staffin other developed western markets. While to get a foot in the door with customers Salary & benefits: being rewarded Influence: the impact that the role can havethis could change as wealth is spread more in Asia. If you’re expecting your staff to appropriately financially rewarded. both within and outside of the organisation.widely in the region, there are deep cultural secure meetings with senior leaders from 2
2 / Dig deeper to measure candidate qualityThe way we measure the suitability of However, the complicating factor in the region is Reasons for hiring problems (by region)candidates is becoming more complex. low unemployment rates and continued growth in most industries. The availability of top talent 90%Considering the variation in what motivates is already low in the region, so it is common toemployees in different regions, a cursory find organisations seeking candidates withoutglance at a person’s CV can be deceptive. the ‘ideal’ previous experience, but with the 80%The way we immediately perceive candidate fundamentals to be able to learn as they go.suitability may not always hold true in every Given the need to seek less experienced 70%market, and it’s important to understandhow to read people’s CVs in accordance talent to fill key roles, the processes andwith cultural norms. Organisations often tools that hiring managers use to measure 60%rely on job descriptions, hierarchies and candidate suitability are more critical here. Allpay structures to determine seniority and organisations need to determine how well theirsuitability for advancement, but there is no interview and screening processes measure: 50%global ‘one-size-fits-all’ measurement. • aptitude for on-going learning;The same job title in Asia may not reflect the 40%attainment of the same skill-set as a similar • team working and leaderships skills;title in the Americas or Europe. So, being able • communication skills; and 30%to more objectively and accurately measurecandidate suitability and skill-sets is important • candidate’s ability to problem-solveto getting the right people in the right roles. and access strategic insights. 20% Shortage of Skilled Staff Salary Uncompetitive LocationIn Asia-Pacific, companies report a moreacute shortage of skilled staff, with 83% APAC Source: Global RPO Report 2011of survey respondents blaming it for Americastheir hiring issues, compared with 77% EMEAin the Americas, and 75% in EMEA. 3
3 / Beware the pressures of a growing marketOrganisations in Asia-Pacific report the greatest right outcomes (i.e. people who have the right Have you been experiencing difficulties recruiting staff? (% yes)difficulty in hiring. In fact, there has been a skills/aptitude and who stay long enough tosignificant increase in the number of people deliver those skills). 80%experiencing difficulty recruiting the right staffbetween 2010 and 2011. Given the continued growth in hiring across Asia-Pacific, organisations need recruitmentAcross the region there is: providers that have an eye on the bigger 70% picture including:1. Stronger competition for candidates from recruiters/other organisations • An understanding of impending skills shortages by region/city/industry; 60%2. Greater incentives and more offers for candidates to leave existing employment, • Broad access to global candidate networks; even when they’re ‘happy’ • Strategies for engaging and retaining 50%For these reasons, organisations must consider the right people now; andhow they outsource their recruitment and thekinds of metrics they place around this service. • Longer-term strategies for shoring upIn a tight talent market such as this, there is talent pipeline. 40%a greater case for outsourcing recruitmentactivities, yet it’s also far more critical to get the 30% EMEA APAC Americas 2011 Source: Global RPO Report 2011 2010 4
4 / Think flexibilityGrowth in contingent and temporary labour has • Determine critical success factors: most parts of the recruitment process outsourced (by region)grown almost everywhere in the past decade, roles usually start out with the assumptionyet it has grown exceptionally quickly in the that they will need to be filled by permanent 60%Asia-Pacific market. While there are real and (although not necessarily full-time) employees.valid concerns for the casualisation of lower- By looking more closely at what the criticalskilled workforces and the lack of security success factors of a role may be, hiring 50%that this can bring—particularly in developing managers should indeed take a step backmarkets—it is at the higher end of the market and ask themselves whether or not thesethat flexibility has real relevance. require permanency to deliver. With the right 40% candidate and access to the right technologyIn Australia, it is estimated that independent and internal networks, delivering on criticalcontractors now make up around 10% of the success factors should always be possible.workforce1, and temporary and contingent 30%workers are growing at a much greater rate in • Focus on collaboration to create theAPAC than elsewhere in the world. whole: providing managers with the overallFor those with higher level, in-demand skill sets responsibility to deliver a stream of work, and 20%where salaries are already above average, being then giving them the freedom to structureable to better balance work with other aspects the actual work as they see fit, allows themof life, as well as being able to pick and choose to target individuals with particular strengths. 10%more desirable projects, is a major advantage. Now, organisations should be able to accessFor this end of the market, flexibility is a win-win the tools needed for effective collaboration sosituation and is particularly beneficial for women that this kind of ‘jigsaw’ approach is efficient 0%who want to stay in or re-enter the employment and captures knowledge as it’s developed. Graduates Business Contingent/ Administrative Professional Company Unit Temporary Widemarket after starting a family. • Engage specialists rather than generalists:For much of the Asia-Pacific region, employers APAC Source: Global RPO Report 2011 few professionals are exceptional at every Americasstill have a long way to go to be able to deliver aspect of their job all the time. Finding EMEAtruly flexible approaches to work at this end people who do one or two things really well,of the market. Among the issues that must be and only asking them to do those things,addressed to access candidates with critical obviously reduces job dissatisfaction, raisesskills, but who do not want permanent, full-time work quality and increases productivity.employment are: 51 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/F0330F5043199960CA25773700169C6B
5 / Improve your ‘candidate experience’The candidate experience is the overall From the moment the first connection is made, the basic elements to focus on are:impression that candidates have of an be it a click on a site, an email or a telephoneorganisation once they’ve applied for or taken call, the candidate experience begins. Abovea role there. In many ways, it’s similar to the way all, recruiters should treat the candidate The This includes everything related to the corporate and employer brandthat any customer might experience a company experience as a deliverable, which should be brand. It is the brand awareness and quality of the corporation’s experience products and/or services—not just the PR and marketing.and must be both targeted and of real value to targeted, marketed, designed and tailor-made.the individual. It is critical for companies to focus on the The This covers facts and figures, reports and any type of data a candidate reputationalRegardless of whether or not a candidate is specifics of their own recruitment experience. can learn about the role, company and industry. How has your company experiencesuccessful in obtaining a role, the way they When was the last time you walked in the performed recently and over the long term on all measures? Is this information readily available and well presented? In terms of the roleare engaged and informed throughout the shoes of a candidate? What was your candidate itself, what has it led to for other candidates? Has there been highprocess is equally important. This will determine experience when you joined your organisation? turnover in the team and why did the previous person depart the role?whether or not: Have you had other experiences that were better/worse?• An unsuccessful yet still desirable candidate The This is about how candidates connect with you before and technological returns to apply for future opportunities during their recruitment. It can be the first impression of an experience Application Tracking System, but also the technical impression• How engaged the successful candidate is at of websites, webinars, games, and other elements. the beginning of the on-boarding process The This is not limited to recruiters or interviewers only. The human factor human• How you’re perceived in the recruitment experience contains all the people that a company has ever had onsite, offsite or market, including what is said about you and online. Who are your leaders? How do they resonate and what do how you’re rated in recruitment circles and they say about a candidate’s likely experience of working there? online forums/networks. The Processes tell candidates a lot about how well a company is process organised or how respectfully they treat applications and people. experience Trust, a sense of security and success perceptions can be won or lost depending on how well the process is leveraged. 6
About the AuthorKumar Bhaya is Director, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for Asia atKelly Services. As a key member of Kelly’s global RPO practice, Kumar leads ateam of seasoned recruitment professionals managing client relationships andRPO programs across the region. He has a Bachelors degree in commerce, aMasters degree in business and a Diploma in computer management. Kumar sitson the board of the HR Outsourcing Association (HROA) in Asia Pacific and hasparticipated in several thought leadership forums on outsourcing.PETER HAMILTON is Director, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for Australiaand New Zealand at Kelly Services. He has over 12 years experience in the deliveryand development of talent supply chain solutions for clients across a host of sectorsincluding Engineering, Infrastructure, Healthcare, IT &T, Banking & Finance andGovernment. In addition Peter is leading Kelly’s Managed Service Provider (MSP)practice in Asia Pacific. He has a Bachelors of Science, a Post Graduate Certificatein Human Resources Management and has graduated with a Executive MBA.About KellyOCGKellyOCG is the Outsourcing and Consulting Group of Fortune 500 workforce solutions provider,Kelly Services, Inc. KellyOCG is a global leader in innovative talent management solutions in theareas of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), ContingentWorkforce Outsourcing (CWO), including Independent Contractor Solutions, Human ResourcesConsulting, Career Transition and Organizational Effectiveness, and Executive Search.Further information about KellyOCG may be found at kellyocg.com. EXIT