Posted by Paul Daley - Director, APAC
APAC talent management
Posted on December 14th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hot talent acquisition trends in Asia

The last week of November and first week in December saw Hong Kong play host to a bonanza of events for HR practitioners and industry players.

No less than four different HR and recruitment conferences including the 32nd HKIHRM Annual Conference, #truhongkong, Amcham‘s Human Capital Conference and our very own Think Tank entitled ‘Rethinking the leadership talent gap in Asia’ came to town giving the opportunity for all to rub shoulders with new and old friends alike.

Despite the range of events, subjects and participants, three topics continued to steal the majority airtime:

• Social media and the shift to mobile platforms
• The increasing pressure for global leadership talent in China
• Integration of talent acquisition with talent development.

Social Media and mobile…of course!

No conference would be complete without mention of social media which continues to find its way into almost all corners of conversation.

The main thrust of discussion continues to focus on organisations’ use of social media (meaning Linkedin in most contexts) as a sourcing tool. However, the trend of using social channels as a platform for employer branding, engagement and reputation management is on the rise. In the past year the conversation has shifted from theory to a few cases of demonstrable experience and results in this area. Organisations ranging from conglomerates, to manufactures, to financial services offered insights into their use and results from social media; and how this had improved the breadth of their external talent pipeline and converted in many cases to higher quality direct hires.

Furthermore, a number of new consultancies have popped up in the region offering social media consulting, community management and mobile optimised career sites. Creative agencies have evolved their offering more towards a social world. Maximum’s social recruitment monitor makes an interesting attempt to measure the reach and engagement of an organisation’s employer brand through social media. Having had a sneak preview of the Asia based list (coming soon), there’s some interesting organisations doing more in this space than you would have thought.

Buy it, build it, blag it – increasing pressure for global leadership talent in China

Many hours of discussion were focussed on the static / declining pool of leadership talent in China, combined with the growing demand for globally capable business leaders. The scrappy business of poaching leaders from competitors (for hefty salary increases) continued to be the dominant strategy for most.

However, in realisation that such approaches are not sustainable, organisations had put renewed focus on strategic workforce planning, leadership development and building or partnering to deliver sustainable identification and engagement of potential future leaders around a value proposition that talks to more than just money.

Organisations across a number of sectors including manufacturing and luxury goods presented strong case studies detailing where a renewed and integrated approach to leadership acquisition had delivered 30%+ reduction in time to hire combined with 40%+ improvement in leadership retention.

It’s about more than ‘bums on seats’ – integrating talent acquisition with talent development

A topic of much popularity in the past five years is starting to gain traction in Asia. Talent acquisition and recruitment leaders are recognising the need to be involved and influence not only the successful hiring of the best talent but also their subsequent performance, engagement and retention.

A number of HR leaders have taken very practical steps in merging Talent Acquisition with Talent Development roles, along with evolving recruiter performance targets to include quality orientated measures such as retention and first year employee performance.

As we have witnessed in other parts of the world, this trend can only be a good thing for those involved in the function. Having influence not only on recruitment but also talent impact, enables talent acquisition to shift from being a supply chain machine to an integral component in creating what really matters to business leaders: having the right people in the right roles, performing at the right level at the right time.

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