Attracting overseas Asian professionals to return home has emerged as a viable alternative for regional firms looking to overcome the talent shortage.
Fortunately, many Asians are willing to return home. For example, 60% of overseas Malaysian professionals are interested to return home to work, according to the latest whitepaper titled ‘Return of the Asian Talent’ from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters.
The three main sectors in Malaysia which they are keen on seeking employment fall within the Accounting and Finance, Banking and Financial Services and Supply Chain, Procurement and Logistics.
One of the initiatives in Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme launched in 2010 addresses the shortage of professionals and technical experts in the country, actively attracting overseas Malaysians to return to help fuel the local workforce.
The top three reasons why overseas Asians will consider returning home are to care for ageing parents, the perceived ability to command higher pay after working overseas and the affinity with their cultures back home. As a result, the top three factors they look for in an employment package are a salary increment (over local rates), clear career progression and flexible working arrangements.
Career path and progression
“Employees today want to know if companies can provide a clear career path and progression to support their growth in the organization," says Sally Raj, Managing Director, Robert Walters Malaysia.
"When hiring managers are clearer about the goals and progression during the interviewing process, they will be more inclined to hire the right candidates and also retain them for a longer term.”
Across Southeast Asia, 88% of hiring managers polled in Southeast Asia say they are currently facing challenges in attracting and recruiting talent.
A majority (86%) of the hiring managers polled in Southeast Asia see hiring returning locals as a viable option to address their recruitment challenges.
Under half (42%) of overseas Asians looking for employment opportunities back home will first meet with a recruitment consultancy or headhunter.
Meanwhile, 32% of overseas Asians say the most effective way employers can ensure a smooth transition back home is to offer them an attractive salary increment.