Human Resources



High demand for global talent in Asia

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Companies in Asia are looking to expand internationally but struggle with attracting and retaining talent to do so. This according to global recruitment specialists Robert Walter’s latest white paper; How to attract and retain the right talent to grow your business internationally – a guide for Asian companies.

According to the report Asian companies that are growing in international status frequently face challenges in their expansion plans when it comes to acquiring and retaining talent. More than half (57%) of the companies surveyed agreed that hiring international talent is very important or somewhat important to them.

When candidates experience were asked if they are open to working in an Asian company, 57% said yes and that more than a third (37%) might consider such an opportunity. 64% indicated that they would be open to working in an Asian company that can demonstrate genuine growth potential and help their future career prospects. At the same time, the majority (68%) ranked pay and benefits as one of the top motivating factors to work in an Asian company for the first time.

“Just because candidates might not be actively looking for a job in an Asian company, it does not necessarily mean that they are unavailable. In our extensive study to identify what both companies and candidates are looking for, we found that apart from some of the hard factors such as pay and benefits, brand quality and reputation, elements such as a company’s growth potential and the local corporate culture can attract or repel job applicants,” said Joanne Chua, Robert Walters regional client development director – South East Asia and Greater China.

On the other hand, when international talent who has worked in an Asian company before were asked what they thought were the most rewarding aspects of working in Asian company, the most popular response was by far the local corporate culture (62%). This was followed by the way companies build a trusting relationship with their employees (36%) and the sense of giving back to their local community or home country (33%). These were significantly more important than better job titles (21%) and pay and benefits (9%), showing that while these are still important factors for talent attraction, they may not be the most effective tactics when it comes to retaining people.

If you’re facing this challenges in hiring international talent, read what you can do here.

Other Highlights from the whitepaper

60% of companies believed that it was more difficult to recruit international talent compared to talent with no international working experience. The greatest challenges they identified include:

  • Applicants’ expected salaries are much higher than the allocated budget
  • Candidates were not a good cultural fit with the company
  • There were not enough quality applications to choose from
  • It was difficult to find candidates with the required skills

Asian companies (27%) were more accustomed to referrals from existing employees and relied on their established networks when recruiting for candidates. By contrast, referrals are much less relied on by Western companies (7%).

Only 27% of Asian companies provided training for their hiring managers on how to attract international talent – an area where they face strong competition.


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