Recruiting Highly-Skilled Talent is Priority for Firms in Southeast Asia

The war for talent continues to rage across the region, with recruiting/sourcing highly-skilled talent named the most important priority for 44% of Southeast Asia (SEA) respondents – same as globally, finds LinkedIn’s 2013 Global Recruiting Trends Report.


This year’s study, conducted for the 3rd time globally and for the 1st time in Southeast Asia (SEA), polled 3,379 talent acquisition leaders across 19 countries – including 141 SEA leaders.


The survey found that SEA talent professionals were significantly more concerned with pipelining talent than their global counterparts (39% naming it a top priority compared to 25% for the latter); while ‘competition’ was cited more frequently in SEA as an obstacle to talent attraction than elsewhere.  


Yet, talent professionals are being expected to do more with less, with hiring volumes expected to increase faster than hiring budgets. 49% of SEA respondents expected an increase in hiring volumes this year (higher than the global average of 43%), while only 40% reported an increase in recruiting budgets.  


Fastest growing source of quality hires

Compared to two years ago, 17% more recruiters globally find quality talent on professional social networks – stronger growth than any other source in that period.


In SEA, professional social networks were the 2nd most important source of key quality hires; second only to recruitment agencies (38% citing the former as one of the most important sources compared to 45% for the latter).


This trend is here to stay – ‘utilising social and professional networks’ was the top essential trend which SEA recruiters saw in the long-term (40%), ahead of things like finding better ways to source passive candidates (34%) and recruiting globally (10%).


Employer branding was a top competitive threat, with 39% of SEA respondents naming it as the thing competitors have done / may do which makes them nervous. It came a close second to improving employee retention which was a percentage point higher. Furthermore, 88% of SEA respondents believe employer brand has a significant impact on ability to hire great talent.


Using data in making hiring decisions

Southeast Asia is a leader in using data to drive talent acquisition effectiveness, with 37% of SEA respondents saying their organisations use data well in making hiring decisions – versus the global average of 23%. In fact, SEA was the 2nd strongest market in using data for hiring, behind only India (52%) and well ahead of highly developed economies like the UK (15%) and the US (22%).


Additionally, 42% of regional respondents regularly measure employer brand in a quantifiable way, ahead of 33% globally.

The study also finds that the majority (91%) of SEA respondents expect internal hiring to increase or stay the same. ‘Structured internal hiring process and supportive culture’ was tied for 2nd place with ‘proactive sourcing’ in the list of elements which respondents thought make up a world class talent acquisition organisation; behind ‘pipelining talent proactively’.


Despite demand from jobseekers – with 59% of candidates using mobile to learn about opportunities and 52% using mobile to apply; 86% of SEA organisations do not think they are investing adequately in mobile recruiting – with 33% saying they don’t know where to start.

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