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Strategies for successful hiring in Asia’s competitive talent market

CXC Global8 min read
CXC GlobalDecember 10, 2023
CXC Global

Hiring managers in Asia’s bustling tech hubs face an increasingly complex landscape—and the rapid growth and fierce competition for top-tier talent is to blame. This situation has introduced challenges that demand innovative solutions. The stakes are particularly high for hiring managers of fast-growing tech startups. 

The need to source, hire, and retain the best technical contractors is not just a goal—it’s a necessity. 

Understanding talent sourcing in Asia

Asia has its own way of doing things, with different cultures and fast-changing job markets. Understanding these can really help hiring managers get the best tech talent in this part of the world. Here’s how recruiters can find and hire the right people in Asia.

Asia-Pacific hiring trends

  • High demand for digitally competent staff: There is a growing need for talent with digital skills, particularly in the technology industry. Companies want candidates with a mix of technical and non-technical skills for these roles—especially for rising cyber threats. Fortunately, tech talent in Asia is on the rise, making the region a hot hub for sourcing experts.
  • Freelancing and flexible work arrangements: The trend towards remote work and flexible work is on the rise. Therefore, companies have become more open to hiring freelancers and contractors to fill short-term needs. Offering remote work options can help you tap into a wider pool of talent.
  • Shift towards work-life balance: Employees in the region are increasingly looking for work-life balance. Companies that offer flexible work arrangements coupled with good compensation and benefits are more attractive to job seekers. 
  • Talent attraction and engagement:Employee attraction and engagement are top business concerns. Employers need to adapt to win at talent sourcing. As a recruiter, focus on creating a strong company culture. Develop hiring strategies and office policies that make your company a great workplace. Engage your employees with meaningful work and opportunities for growth.
  • Rise of challenges in employee retention: Retaining talent is also a challenge, with compensation, a mismatch between skills and experience, and employer branding being the top challenges for employers. 

The importance of cultural fit assessment

When talent sourcing in Asia, it’s crucial to understand and assess cultural fit. Here’s why:

  • It impacts overall organisational health:Cultural fit is a cornerstone of a company’s health. It influences productivity and performance which directly impact the success of the organisation. Put simply, a workforce that aligns well with the company’s culture tends to be more productive and motivated.
  • It’s a big factor in recruitment and selection: While searching for cultural fit is important in recruitment, avoiding making it exclusionary is vital. Shifting the focus from cultural fit to cultural fitness can help. This approach values adaptability and resilience within the organizational culture—ensuring that talented individuals are not unnecessarily excluded.
  • It paves the way for international market entry: For companies entering new markets, especially Chinese firms expanding globally, cultural fit significantly affects their equity entry scale. Understanding cultural factors is key to successful business operations in new international markets.
  • It fuels employee engagement and retention: A poor cultural fit can lead to dissatisfied employees and a high turnover rate. On the other hand, a good cultural fit results in higher employee engagement, better retention rates, and increased productivity. 
  • It helps businesses adapt to the Asian market: For foreign executives working in Asian companies, understanding cultural nuances and working styles is crucial. For example, the Japanese are more traditional, while Indians are a bit more flexible. If you’re unable to adapt to their particular culture, it may lead to misunderstandings, decreased efficiency, and plenty of other negative consequences for your business.

Proactive vs. passive recruitment: what’s the difference?

Here, we’ll look at the differences between actively searching for candidates and waiting for them to come to you and how each way can help your business.

Proactive recruitment strategies

Here are some proactive recruitment strategies you can do:

Social recruiting in Asia

In Asia, many recruiters use social media to find candidates. About 85% use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This method is great for reaching people who aren’t actively looking for jobs but might be interested in your company (with the right push). 

Aside from social media, other digital tools like job boards and apps are also popular. Do remember that with Asia’s diversity, it’s important to tailor your approach depending on the specific area you’re targeting—like using different languages and images that reflect the local people.

Networking events in Asia

Networking events in Asia are great for recruiters to meet potential candidates and build rapport. For example, TTM Technologies hosts events to connect with job seekers and graduates. McKinsey organizes various recruiting events and initiatives across the region. 

There are plenty of other events, such as job fairs, that can let you meet potential candidates, expand your network, and stay informed about industry trends.

Engaging passive candidates

Not every talented individual is on a job hunt right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of reach. Here are some strategies to engage passive candidates and spark their interest in new opportunities with your company.

Employee referrals in APAC

Employee referrals are a key recruitment method in the region, as they often lead to high-quality hires who fit well with company culture and stay longer. 

However, do note that some of your employees will hesitate to refer due to concerns about the candidate’s fit and how it reflects on them. Offering a referral bonus can help, but its success depends on the employee’s commitment to the company and their perception of the risk involved in referring someone. 

Despite these challenges, referrals generally bring positive results for both the organization and the new hire.

Digital talent platforms

Digital talent platforms are changing talent sourcing as we know it. Gone are the days when job seekers would have to manually walk up to companies and give printouts of their resumes. These online platforms make it easy to find candidates, including those not actively looking for a job. 

The platforms use smart tech to match people’s skills with the right jobs. As a result, the hiring process has become faster and more targeted. 

Building a robust talent pipeline

Having a strong talent pipeline is key to ensuring your company always has access to the right candidates when you need them. Here are some things you can do to continuously identify and engage potential talent, ensuring a steady flow of skilled individuals ready to step into roles as they become available.

Talent pipeline development

To build a strong talent pipeline, start by forecasting your company’s future hiring needs. Then, engage with passive candidates and use your employees’ networks for referrals. Implement recruitment technologies like ATS and CRM systems to manage candidate information. 

You can also build relationships with educational institutions for fresh talent and create a compelling employer brand to attract potential candidates. 

Finally, offer training to current employees to prepare them for future roles. This would mean you won’t have to look far if you ever need more talents.

Industry-specific talent pools

Creating industry-specific talent pools involves gathering candidates with specialized skills and experience relevant to your sector. This approach ensures you have a ready list of qualified individuals who understand the unique demands and nuances of your industry

Skill-specific sourcing

You can go at the micro level and look for people with specific skills that your company needs. Whether it’s tech skills, design abilities, or something else, you focus on finding the right person for each specific job. This way, you can quickly fill roles with experts ready to start working and doing a great job immediately.

Streamlining the recruitment process

Efficient methods are the key to finding the right talent quickly and effectively. Check out these methods to streamline recruitment to reduce time-to-hire while ensuring you connect with the best candidates for your needs. 

Localised recruitment strategies

This means understanding and respecting each region’s unique job market and cultural norms. Again, hiring from different countries will mean different ways of recruiting. By tailoring your approach, you can better connect with candidates, making your recruitment more effective and appealing to a diverse talent pool. 

Recruitment marketing in Asia

You can also implement the following tips to make your company more attractive to potential hires:

  • Market your Unique Value Proposition (USP): Aside from your company’s USP in terms of the product or service, do identify what makes your company unique for employees. 
  • Present career growth opportunities: Show that you support your employees’ career development by giving clear pathways to growth. Create a workplace that cares about employee growth and wellness. 
  • Create an authentic online presence: Make sure your company appears on social media platforms and Google Ads. Ensure you always have a positive image on platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn Recruiter. Also, use real stories and videos to show what your company is like.
  • Humanise your brand: Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand’s personality. Focus on people’s development, wellness, and values. Highlight your team’s achievements and show that people actually like working in your company.

When you consistently put out this message, you will be at the top of people’s minds for people looking for work opportunities or companies who value what they value.

Optimising candidate experience

Ensuring a smooth and positive experience for potential hires is crucial in today’s competitive job market. You can do the following to achieve this:

  • Have a streamlined and simplified application process. This includes having a clear job description, an easy-to-navigate application portal, and a quick response system.
  • Keep candidates informed throughout the hiring process. Regular updates about their application status and clear instructions for each stage can significantly enhance their experience.
  • Conduct interviews in a way that respects the candidate’s time and showcases your company culture. This includes starting on time, being actually interested in the candidate, and having a friendly but still professional demeanor. 
  • Provide constructive feedback after interviews, on whether or not you will hire the candidate. A follow-up after the interview process leaves a positive impression, even for those not selected.
  • Once hired, ensure a welcoming and informative onboarding process. This helps new employees feel valued and integrated into the company from day one.

By focusing on these, you can create a candidate experience that not only attracts top talent but also builds your reputation as an employer of choice.

The right strategies will help you find the right people 

To wrap up, finding the right people for your team in Asia’s busy job market is crucial. That’s why you need to understand local cultures and use smart hiring strategies.

Working with a recruitment partner like CXC can make things easier if you want an easier time. We’ve been in the business of finding the right people for many years, and we can help you find the right people for your needs. Let us help you build a great team that fits your company well—reach out to us today.

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About CXC

At CXC, we want to help you grow your business with flexible, contingent talent. But we also understand that managing a contingent workforce can be complicated, costly and time-consuming. Through our MSP solution, we can help you to fulfil all of your contingent hiring needs, including temp employees, independent contractors and SOW workers. And if your needs change? No problem. Our flexible solution is designed to scale up and down to match our clients’ requirements.

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