While Singapore and Malaysia host transient markets of available talent, talent remains harder to find in the markets of Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
A recent survey by Cielo showed that a large majority (73.6%) of respondents globally agree that their business faces a skills shortage. In fact, more than three in four (78.2%) anticipate that skills shortages and gaps are among the three most significant issues they will face in the near future.
However, the data from APAC diverges slightly in the number one concern facing the respondents. While several respondents consider skills shortages and gaps among the most significant issues, APAC respondents identified quality of hire as the main challenge at 46.2% – skills shortages ranked second, jointly with time to hire at 35.4%.
These results were uncovered in an online survey of over 300 senior talent acquisition (TA) and HR leaders, and 20+ in-depth interviews with senior executives from MNCs across a range of industries.
Exploring further into the region, the phenomenon of skills shortages varied significantly. While Singapore and Malaysia host transient markets of available talent, talent remains harder to find in the markets of Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia, per the report. The survey also found that particular pain points in these markets include hiring talent with leadership roles and niche skills.
"In APAC there are definitely [skill] shortages, which is why we need to look at relocating people or look at other industries," said Mayur Chaturvedi, Regional Director Rewards, Talent Management and HRBP of Zimmer Biomet.
"For example, in Southeast Asia, the developed countries have good talent availability, and there are no problems. But when you go to emerging or developing countries, talent supply is low. Leadership roles and niche skill roles, in particular, are hard to find."
Given how vast the challenge is around finding the right skills, skills-based talent acquisition seems to be the rising trend.
Kumar Bhaya, Cielo's VP of Client Solutions for APAC, said: "Skills-based talent acquisition has the potential to address many of APAC's unique concerns, as well as those which the region shares with talent acquisition teams worldwide."
He added: "That being said, instead of the focus being solely on identifying technical skills gaps in candidates, we should also be looking at their soft skills. These are more in demand in the changing landscape of business as they take longer to develop in a person."
In addition to international skills shortages, concerns regarding breaking free of regional roles, and increasing attention to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) were highlighted by experts in APAC region.
However, in relation to feedback from their global peers, TA professionals in APAC are generally less concerned with DEI&B - just 24.6% of recruiters in Asia listing it as a top concern as opposed to 45.6% globally.
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