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A shift away from paycheck-driven mindset: How to win talent amidst global competition
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A shift away from paycheck-driven mindset: How to win talent amidst global competition


Flexibility, learning and development opportunities, and a sense of purpose are what employees want today.

This article is brought to you by Deel.

The talent competition is fierce globally, especially in Hong Kong where turnover and emigration rates are high.

In the past, attractive salaries and benefit packages would be more than enough to attract and retain talent. Now, employees, especially those of the younger generations, are no longer purely paycheck-driven.

“Decision makers need to understand that the new generation of workforce demands flexibility at work,” said Karen Ng, Regional Head of Expansion & Market Lead Singapore, Hong Kong, ASEAN, India, Deel, at a panel discussion that took place on 13 September 2023, attended by Human Resources Online.

“Many are realising that no matter how attractive the salary, learning and development initiatives, wellness initiatives…nothing could beat the flexibility of being able to pick up their kid from school a few times a week.”

This after-work panel discussion and networking session she spoke at was co-hosted by Deel and LinkedIn Hong Kong. With the theme of “Intersection of Talent and Tech – The Combo to a Winning Strategy for Global Competition”, the event comprised two panel discussions, exploring how companies are crafting a winning talent strategy to address the immense and permanent changes to the workforce and work culture since the pandemic, and discussing employee experience with a focus on learning and development (L&D).

Working from anywhere comes out on top

As talent priorities change, the demand for flexible working is rising. Meanwhile, the talent shortage being faced in Hong Kong leads to more creative strategies for engaging talent.

The large-scale experiment during the pandemic has proved the feasibility and effectiveness of working from everywhere, therefore, driving companies to turn their eyes to global hiring to find or retain the best talent for their business.

According to Deel’s 2023 Hong Kong Business Leader Pulse Check: Workforce and Hiring, 85% of companies in Hong Kong are open to hiring outside of the city, with 84% seeing remote working as still relevant to their companies’ directions. Among them is Prenetics.

“Since we are in need of people with more specific skill sets, we’ve turned to the global talent pool to expand our search, and Deel was able to help us make those hires compliantly,” shared Samantha Kwok, Vice President of People and Operations, Prenetics.

With an increasingly globalised and decentralised workforce, is flexibility the sole perk to attract, engage and retain people?

deel sep 2023 2(From L-R: Tommy Shum, Director, Corporate Medical & Wellness, Bowtie; Kathy Ho, Enterprise Solutions Manager, LinkedIn Hong Kong; Elsie Yung, Founder, ELS (Moderator); Harmony Li, Head of Impact Community, Social Ventures Hong Kong; and Kyle Liu, Enterprise Sales - North Asia, Deel)

L&D, technology, and culture all matter

Across the two panel discussions of the event, the panellists noted that employees are increasingly rating L&D initiatives as one of the top perks offered by their employers. As corporations’ toolkits now signal their company values, investment in the right sales, productivity, and learning tools, therefore, is essential to attracting the right talent and upskilling the workforce.

On the other hand, while technology plays an increasingly important role in engaging teams in a more flexible working environment, the panellists agreed that it is not here to replace people but to help everyone become more efficient. As such, companies should ensure equal access to tools and information for everyone, incorporate more training for both leaders and employees, maintain transparency and over-communicate, and evaluate and clearly state to employees the purpose or benefits of adopting new technology.

After all, whether the workforce is fully remote or hybrid, it is all about cultivating a strong workplace culture. Concluding the event, the panellists emphasised that employees today are more purpose-driven. They want to work with companies with purpose and social impact. When people feel like they belong in a company and share its culture and values, they will naturally do their best work and be engaged.

Photos / Provided
(Lead photo, from L-R: Sinyi Au, Reporter, Ignites Asia, Financial Times (Moderator); Karen Ng, Regional Head of Expansion & Market Lead Singapore, Hong Kong, ASEAN, India, Deel; Dr. Toa Charm, Associate Director, EMBA, CUHK EMBA; Nathan Khan, Head of Partnerships, Linkedin Hong Kong and Taiwan; and Samantha Kwok, Vice President of People and Operations, Prenetics)

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