Current conversations around talent can be misleading, emphasizing how there are shortages in many locations. While these issues do persist in certain cities and industries, there are still skilled people to be hired across the world. Knowing where these talent pools are, as well as having the means to access them, is the key to overcoming today’s labor market challenges.
In his PANGEO regional keynote speech, Charles Ferguson, General Manager for APAC at G-P, discussed these ideas and how they can help companies find, attract, and recruit the talent they need from emerging hubs around the world.
The current situation
In APAC, cutting-edge cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Sydney, and Tokyo have been suffering from lack of talent, especially in certain industries like tech and manufacturing. Many of these problems have been highlighted by the global pandemic. According to Ferguson, “a lot of talent challenges became incredibly exposed.”
He continued to explain how the sudden inability of people to travel across borders caused additional strain on the labor markets in countries that are traditionally net importers of talent.
The war for talent has shifted from one fought by companies, to a war fought by countries. This is evident in how local governments have begun implementing forward-looking initiatives that focus on reskilling their workforce. Some have also developed policies aimed at attracting international talent.
Ferguson explained, “Both governments and companies … are aware that the key to success in the future is going to be differentiated by a company or a country’s ability to attract the very best talent…”
Shifts in the world of work have also contributed to ongoing talent shortages. Employees have now assumed more control over their work lives, changing jobs or altogether leaving the workforce after reevaluating their work-life situations during lockdowns.
Emerging talent hubs
Despite all the volatility in the market, talent is still everywhere. Ferguson said that although there are challenges in hiring talent, the acceleration and proliferation of remote work provides the solution. He added that it will allow employers to, “look beyond your neighborhood, your town, your city, even your country to find the very best talent in the world.”
Ferguson’s statement is backed by G-P’s CFO Survey. According to a key result, 92 percent of CFOs see a remote-first work policy as an effective strategy to attract and retain talent.
“Global employment technologies have advanced to a point now, where remote hiring is not only viable and beneficial — it actually has become paramount.” However, while global hiring solves many of today’s talent challenges, having the means to access global talent will only yield success if companies know where to look.
Ferguson highlighted the following emerging talent hubs around the world:
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Manila, Philippines
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
Each country offers unique advantages for employers, including Indonesia’s rapidly growing online economy, the Philippines’ skilled and English-speaking populace, Nigeria’s persistent government investment in tech, and UAE’s hyper-focus on fintech. Ferguson emphasized though, that these are only some examples of an entire, literal world of possibilities.
He also highlighted that while more cost-efficient labor may be available in some of the emerging hubs, it is not necessarily the primary driver for recruitment in those areas. He further explained that the “deep wells” of talent present in these markets are worth exploring, regardless of cost-efficiency.
“The cost cannot be measured in dollars alone. The cost has to be put through the lens of opportunity cost,” said Ferguson. He maintained that the time-to-value metric associated with finding, hiring, and keeping talent will be the deciding factor for success.
Maximizing global talent
Ferguson recommended that companies be more deliberate in their global hiring efforts. He suggested aligning job descriptions to a company’s core values, mission, and vision to make sure that recruits are the right fit, not only based on competencies, but also based on the organization’s culture.
Speed is also another factor in the success of global hiring. Ensuring that the employee experience does not suffer despite the distance and potential time differences is essential in managing a remote workforce. According to Ferguson, it is imperative that companies use digital technologies to seamlessly bring talent on board and provide convenient training environments. These technologies will guarantee the quickness of these important processes without sacrificing the quality of the experience.
Having the right partner, with local experience and expertise, will help companies hire globally as well. Ferguson stressed the importance of working with a company that has all the infrastructure, technology, and global reach to guide employers as they explore international talent pools.
Ferguson ended the talk with a famous quote by former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” He encouraged companies to do the due diligence necessary to maximize the opportunities presented by global remote hiring. This includes accessing G-P’s Globalpedia – a resource hub of high-level information companies should know before venturing into another country.
Learn more about PANGEO, the Largest Global Employment Conference in the World, here.
An event by G-P. Global Made Possible