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4 Game Changing Talent Trends Reshaping Hiring in APACDate Posted: 20 December, 2023
The current talent market in Asia-Pacific countries is being characterised as unpredictable. With unemployment rates returning to pre-pandemic lows, a surge in job openings, and global organisations expanding in the APAC region, HR leaders are facing challenges in recruitment and retention. Despite this unpredictability, there is an opportunity for companies to navigate the market more intentionally. Here are some trends to consider when hiring new talent.
1. Boomerang Employees Can Offer a Path Forward
A significant supply and demand mismatch has resulted in more job openings than applicants. In Japan, for instance, companies, on average, receive just two applicants for every role, leaving millions of jobs unfilled. While bidding wars and counteroffers persist, a recent survey revealed that 64% of APAC workers consider having a “fulfilling job” extremely or very important.
Simultaneously, a new trend is emerging due to the global economic downturn. Professionals who left their jobs as part of the “Big Quit” are reconsidering their abrupt departures, presenting an opportunity for former employers to benefit from these returning boomerang employees. These individuals not only return with valuable experience but also bring fresh ideas from their recent ventures.
2. Organisations with Location Flexibility Stand to Gain
As employees seek greater control over their work locations, some organisations are exploring dispersed operating models across the region. For instance, a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company allows senior leaders to work from Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore, offering location flexibility to finance staff based in hubs in Malaysia and Thailand.
Beyond talent acquisition, a dispersed operating model also helps organisations mitigate risks in operations and customer bases in China. Companies that consider diverse location opportunities will be more appealing to potential employees.
3. Professionals Prioritising Work-Life Balance Over “Hustle Culture”
Professionals are pushing back against the demanding “hustle culture.” In China, Gen Z is rejecting the 9-9-6 schedule in favour of regulated public sector or state-owned enterprise work, embracing the concept of “lying flat” or “tang ping” for better work-life balance.
This shift is also evident in the rejection of “desk-time” culture, where employees feel pressured to be visible at their desks regardless of actual productivity. Remote and hybrid work have challenged the notion that time in the office equals productivity, and top talent now expects greater autonomy over when, where, and how they work.
As concerns around employee well-being and burnout continue, companies that maintain wellness offerings in their benefits packages, such as mental health benefits or paid sabbaticals, gain a recruitment advantage. Remote or hybrid work options, offering schedule and location flexibility, position organisations as preferred employers for top professionals.
4. Inclusion as a Catalyst for Team Performance and Future Talent Pipeline
Diverse and inclusive teams consistently make better decisions and bring products to market faster. Despite this, some APAC organisations have been slow to prioritise inclusion policies, missing out on the advantages in a region rich in diversity.
Proactively embracing diverse hiring practices, regardless of age, race, gender, or ability, is essential. Embedding inclusivity in the everyday employee experience and engaging meaningfully with a diverse talent pool not only enhances current teams but also builds a pipeline for future talent, providing a strategic advantage in a competitive talent market.