Ramping up: The case for internal hiring strategies

HIRING STRATEGY: Even before Covid-19 up-ended working life, the desire for internal upward mobility was a significant pull factor for potential employees and a growing trend for many recruitment agencies to help them find and attract the best talent.

However, the pandemic has further hastened this focus on HR departments tapping into their existing talent pools. Thus, internal mobility is now seen as a major drawcard for both employers and employees.

According to LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends report, workers say they are 41% more likely to remain with a company if they understand a career path is ahead of them. It stands to reason then that companies with a mapped-out plan for individualised success build trust and loyalty with their workforces. With the retention of quality staff an imperative in the current climate, internal mobility is seen by many as the panacea.

Ensuring employees have a pathway to success within their own organisation also prevents the syphoning of talent to competitors and increases both engagement and productivity.

Vinos Samuel, Director of Client Solutions in Asia-Pacific for Cielo Talent, says the Asian region suffers from a dearth of talent in specific industries. The technology sector is one standout example. “Many employers believe that large numbers of college graduates are missing skills in complex thinking, collaboration, teamwork and communications,” he told Chief of Staff Asia.

Understandably, the professionals who tick all of these boxes become extremely valuable, and retaining those already onboard is an urgent priority.

Internal mobility is actually an area where recruiters in Southeast Asia excel. Promoting internal mobility is quickly becoming a significant weapon in the armoury for keeping highly qualified staff, and Southeast Asia is fast moving to the forefront of this trend.

According to a LinkedIn ‘Think Insight' analysis, The Asia-Pacific region increased its rate of internal mobility by as much as 15% in 2020, with many Southeast Asian labour markets now having rates far higher than the global average. Indonesia, for example, has the highest rate, at 24.5% of new hires coming from internal talent sources, compared to that global average of 19.5%. But Singapore (21%) and the Philippines (20%) are also ahead of the rest of the world.

Part of the reason for this appears to be the high levels of technology use among the region's citizens, who can collectively lay claim to being the world’s most connected people. An e-Conomy Southeast Asia report from 2019, Swipe up and to the right: Southeast Asia's $100 billion Internet economy, claimed that there were more than 360 million internet users in the region at the date of publishing, with approximately 90% of those connections through mobile phones.

All of this online activity requires professionals with skill sets that can serve this burgeoning market. Recruitment providers must continue to promote internal mobility as a growth strategy, so companies have the tools to hold onto great talent while providing a means to develop them professionally.

In other industries where demand for products and services is low, there has been a tendency to either lay off workers or reduce hours. However, the International Labour Organisation has found that an increasing number of companies in this part of the world support active worker retention. Its 2020 report, Navigating the crisis towards a human-centred future of work, advocates for greater use of internal mobility in response to the pandemic and economic crises, preventing stuttering in production once demand resumes. In addition, enterprises will avoid the burdensome costs of hiring and training new workers when the pandemic ceases to hold businesses back.

There is a belief among some industry professionals that COVID-19 has highlighted the need for wide-scale reskilling of employees. Rajesh Ahuja, Head of Global Talent Acquisition with Infosys, takes this a step further. "The future of talent acquisition lies in reskilling, rather than finding someone better in the market,” he tells Chief of Staff Asia. “If you need to hire today, you needed to reskill yesterday."

The misalignment of available skills and available jobs has always been one of the recruitment industries' most significant problems. Yet, the answer is, at least in part, to cultivate new skills in the current workforce. Arinya Talerngsri, Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at the London School of Economics’ South East Asia Centre, says that reskilling will help many industries undertake more profound digital transformations.

"We are being required to adopt social distancing and remote working when possible, and this is changing the work process," Talerngsri told the Bangkok Post earlier this year. It is, therefore, pertinent that HR and recruitment companies facilitate reskilling programs to plug skill gaps and forge ahead post-pandemic.

With that said, a 2020 Randstad report which surveyed Singaporean workers highlighted that nine out of ten employees see an "urgent” need to re-skill in order to compete in the post-pandemic job market. It is clear then that HR professionals and their clients need to do a significant amount of work to close this gap between how employees feel about their current roles and the changing skill-sets that companies require.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's report on Recruitment and Hiring Strategy. For further coverage, and access to the full report, please see any of the below links:

Online and Upward: Hiring strategies for post-Covid talent markets (full report) December 2, 2021

Virtual hiring focus to continue: Chief of Staff research (news highlight) December 3, 2021

Remote working options now key to recruitment strategy (feature) December 6, 2021

HSBC's virtual recruitment push (case study) December 7, 2021

A continued push for diversity is needed for high team morale (feature) December 8, 2021

Southeast Asian countries lead in gender inclusion scores (infographic) December 9, 2021

Ramping up: The case for internal hiring strategies (feature) December 10, 2021


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