2018 was a tumultuous year for the global market. In order to secure a foothold in the changing economic landscape, companies must seek a new resourcing strategy; more specifically, a versatile and cost-effective solution to provide flexibility and to build resilience in their businesses.
An increasing number of companies have turned their attention towards outsourcing to address their operational and resourcing needs. However, the gap between a company’s strategic development needs and recruiting needs has been insufficiently bridged.
“We do not blindly help clients to recruit when there could be a better possible solution such as business process re-engineering, automations, digitalisation, system implementation, outsourcing, workforce transformation, continued training and development, etc. We dive into the fundamental needs of our clients,” said Portia Tang, director and head of professional resources solutions and client services at BDO in Hong Kong.
From the micro perspective – why the hybrid resourcing model makes sense
In its efforts to identify the root of the situation, BDO has noticed that nowadays, both employers and employees have a different mindset from the past. Instead of stability, job seekers are looking for diversified experiences and fulfilment.
Companies, on the other hand, demand for specialists with niche skills rather than generic professional roles. Markets needing short-to-medium term professional contractors as well as project workers are on the rise. Hence, BDO adopted the US-originated concept “gig economy” and elevated it to a professional and managerial level, blending it into its consultative approach.
BDO’s Professional Resources Solutions provides a platform for qualified “giggers” to park their employments with them. BDO, as a consultative matchmaker will identify the right talent for clients and deploy them as consultants onto clients’ short-to-medium term projects and satisfying their resourcing needs.
In response to the rising trend of the gig economy, BDO acts as a catalyst to promote the hybrid resourcing model, a blend of various resourcing and recruitment strategies in combination with the traditional “direct hire”. Common strategies include professional secondment and augmentation, as well as rostering and rolling over of professionals with readily transferable skill sets for projects that require agile movements.
More importantly, companies adopting the hybrid resourcing model have altered their hiring practices, and integrated diversity and inclusion into their corporate culture – people are hired based on “fit”, as opposed to unnecessary criteria that may promote bias.
From the macro perspective – cross-border hiring and the rise of a global mobile workforce
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Hong Kong’s unemployment rate hit a record low at 2.9%. Taking the statistics into account, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary of Administration, Matthew Cheung Kin-Chung, observed a sharp decline in the quality of the workforce and a mismatch between the skills required and the current capabilities of the workforce. As such, he urged employers to liberate the local labour by attracting global talent.
The talent crunch is one of the prevalent factors restricting the further growth of businesses not only in Hong Kong, but all over the world. For companies investing overseas, identifying suitable and qualified resources has been difficult, as they are not familiar with local markets. To resolve this issue, some seek advice from BDO in Hong Kong which provides local and regional advice and support, or settle it internally by arranging international assignments involving a temporary transfer of employees.
While international assignments are an effective means of sharing corporate culture, knowledge, skills and experience, there are cross-border implications for both the employer and the employee.
The planning and co-ordination of domestic and foreign country tax laws can be challenging and carry significant financial and reputational risks. Local compliance requirements such as visas, work permits and social security, also come into play. It is yet another headache for companies to keep abreast of the changes of local regulations and compliance requirements, interpret their complexities and act on them.
BDO’s two award-winning services – Professional Resources Solutions and Payroll & HR Outsourcing Services – are grounded in local expertise with international reach. BDO’s global network spans 162 countries and jurisdictions, and each team is equipped with all-round knowledge that can provide multiple practical solutions, and advice on potential regulatory and compliance exposures that companies may not be aware of or overlook.
The phrase “easier said than done” could have been invented to talk about the hiring process. Identifying the job requirements is one thing; however, sourcing a candidate with the right skills, who fits into the company culture, is in the right location, and is interested in being mobilised, while keeping the overall costs within budget, is another thing entirely.
As an entrusted business partner, BDO not only supports companies’ resourcing needs, but also advises them on how to make the best use of their existing resources, while providing continuous assistance throughout their journey.