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The Rise of Tech Talent in Southeast Asia and How Your Business Can Be Their Top Choice

Access to talent
CXC Global5 min read
CXC GlobalOctober 06, 2023
CXC Global

Southeast Asia is booming with tech talent as it emerges as a hub for burgeoning tech professionals. 

From the gleaming skylines of Singapore to the vibrant streets of Bangkok and the rapidly growing tech ecosystems of Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, Southeast Asia is experiencing a tech talent boom that is reshaping the corporate realm.

The surge in demand for tech professionals isn’t confined to just global tech giants either. Startups and established corporations are all vying for the attention of these skilled individuals. Dubbed the ‘tech talent crunch,’ this presents an exciting yet challenging opportunity for businesses and individuals operating in the region.

Must-know facts about the ‘tech talent crunch’

It goes both ways. SEA countries have been generating a lot of the highest-quality tech talents. At the same time, this surge in tech talents comes with the increasing demand for digital and remote professions—which rose further due to the pandemic.

Check out the statistics:

  • Tech roles earn more than 38% on average compared to non-tech roles
  • Engineering holds the top spot in terms of salary—VPs of Engineering make more than $235,000 annually. Product and data roles are the next in-demand.
  • “Software developer” tops the list of most in-demand jobs this 2023, according to Bloomberg
  • The aggregate valuation of Southeast Asia’s tech startups was $340 billion in 2020, and it will triple by 2025. 
  • It is predicted that specific sectors of the tech job market will continue to grow due to Southeast Asia’s growing economics and increasing demand for tech and digital skills—specifically cloud computing, AI, and cybersecurity.

What do these numbers tell us? The tech talent crunch is not going anywhere anytime soon. Companies that want to stay on top must know how to take advantage of this.

How can your company make the most of the tech talent surge in SEA?

As one of many businesses looking to stand out and rise above the rest, it’s a given that you’re also seeking to hire the best of the best tech talents.

Yes, the quantity of potential hires as of late is plentiful. However, you’ll need a lot more than just available positions to attract these high-quality tech talents from Southeast Asia.

There’s even a bigger question: Is your company ready to accommodate this rise of tech talent? What do you need to divert this huge mass of high-demand talent your way?

To help you get all your bases covered, here’s a checklist you can use for your reference:

  1. Conduct thorough market research and talent mapping

Don’t go shooting in the dark. Understand what specific tech talents you’re looking for and where to find them. Create a solid talent mapping strategy so you know where to focus your recruitment efforts at.

Mapping out where the talents you’re looking for are from is crucial. You’ll get a better idea of the requirements you’ll need to fulfill to best attract those specific talents to your company.

  1. Establish and flesh out your remote work policies

Develop clear and comprehensive remote work policies. They should outline your company’s expectations, communication protocols, and performance evaluation criteria. Doing so can help align both your company and your remote tech talents to work seamlessly together.

  1. Observe cultural sensitivity and awareness

Familiarise your company staff with the cultural norms and working practices in Southeast Asia. Observing adequate cultural sensitivity can help you build strong relationships. In turn, you’ll get a better understanding of what motivates your target tech talents in SEA.

  1. Promote practices that help break down language barriers

Consider providing adequate language support resources. This can help create clear and effective communication between your talents and in-house team. While English is widely spoken in Southeast Asia, it’s important to understand the different nuances of foreign languages. After all, language is not just about words.

Language barriers can lead to unintended misunderstandings. Such miscommunication could hinder collaboration between your company and your remote talents.

  1. Consider implementing flexible working hours

Accepting remote talents means you should be ready to accept the concept of flexible working hours. Show your potential remote tech talents that you’re committed to fostering work-life balance among a team that works different timezones.

This is especially true for tech talents in Indonesia. In one survey, as much as 85% of respondents demanded work flexibility.

  1. Adapt more localised recruitment and hiring practices

If you are aiming to hire remote tech talents from Southeast Asia, then have your recruitment and hiring processes cater to Southeast Asian candidates specifically.

One thing you can do to help with this is to partner with local recruiting agencies. Another would be attending job fairs in your target region. Conducting virtual interviews is also a great way to immediately reach out to your tech talent candidates.

  1. Encourage personal and professional development for your tech talents

Southeast Asian tech talents value skill and career growth opportunities. Highlight your company’s commitment to supporting your talents’ drive for personal growth. This is a big factor that can help you not only attract top talent—but also retain them.

  1. Arm your tech talents with the necessary resources

One great gesture is to provide your remote tech talents with the technology they need to get started and to succeed. Even something as simple as providing internet allowance can go a long way.

You can also invest in reliable communication platforms. Give your remote talents a centralised and secure channel of communicating with you.

  1. Promote an inclusive and diverse work environment

Be open to the many perspectives and ideas your foreign tech talents can provide. Shape your company’s work culture into one that can encourage your talents to grow and thrive.

This can help build healthy and productive collaboration across your whole workforce.

  1. Implement supportive management practices for your remote workforce

Train your managers to lead your company’s remote teams effectively. For starters, focus on the aspects of communication, feedback, and positive work culture. 

Good management is key to helping your remote tech talents to be both productive and engaged in their job roles. Not only will this be a huge help to your remote talents, but it will help build a strong company brand.

Access to global top talent is one thing—managing them is another

Aside from hiring and recruiting top tech talent, onboarding and managing them are also equally—if not more—important. With the recent incidents of employee misclassification, companies have been on high alert ensuring they don’t step in that landmine themselves. Is your company safe from such a mishap?

We make remote workforce management efficient, safe, and labour law violation-free with our extensive on-demand talent sourcing and legal consultation services.

Just contact us and start getting the tech talents your company is looking for—without the hassle and with full-on guidance all throughout the process.

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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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