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Retaining talent a key challenge in growing internationally

Released at: 16:37, 04/07/2018

Retaining talent a key challenge in growing internationally

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

Robert Walters report finds Asian companies are keen to increase their international headcount over next three years.

by Hong Nhung

Professional recruitment firm Robert Walters released a whitepaper on July 3 entitled “How to attract and retain the right talent to grow your business internationally”. The paper identifies and analyzes the human resources challenges faced by Asian companies looking to grow internationally, which include addressing key issues of how to acquire and retain talent and the challenges, motivators and recommendations companies should consider in their HR strategies.

Asian companies are growing in international status and changing the global business landscape, with 40 per cent of companies named in on the Fortune 500 list being Asian; more than any other continent. The need for international growth was recognized by the majority of the survey’s respondents, with 70 per cent of Asian firms and 67 per cent of Vietnamese firms stating that plan to grow their international footprint within the next three years.

“It is clear that Vietnamese firms recognize the importance of international expansion to compete effectively with established Western multinationals,” said Mr. Adrien Bizouard, Country Manager of Robert Walters Vietnam. “But it is also a challenge to recruit and retain the global talent required to expand their international footprint and stay ahead of the competition. With this whitepaper targeted at Asian companies looking to internationalize, we hope this serves as a strategic roadmap on how to equip Vietnamese businesses with the talent they need.”

According to the whitepaper, 40 per cent of Asian companies plan to increase their international talent headcount in the next 12 months, and in Vietnam the number is higher. Seventy-five per cent of Asian companies plan to increase their international talent headcount in the next 12 months. These two sentences are the same but have different figures Despite the increasing demand, 60 per cent of these Asian companies believe that it’s more difficult to recruit international talent. The greatest challenges are due to high expected salaries of applicants and insufficient quality applicants with the skills that match business requirements.

In Vietnam, when asked “What are the Top 3 reasons for leaving their previous Asian company”, 57 per cent of respondents indicated less transparency in company decisions and changes, compared to only 35 per cent for Asian respondents. This was followed by not enough opportunities for professional training and personal development programs in place (55 per cent). The third reason (53 per cent) was not seeing any progression in their career paths.

To secure future success it’s essential to have robust recruitment and talent management strategies in place. Besides common motivating factors such as pay and benefits or company reputation, more promotion opportunities was by far the most popular response to the survey’s question on what motivates international talent to work in an Asian business, cited by 63 per cent.

Furthermore, there is a notable difference between Western and Asian companies in talent attraction channels. Asian businesses are far more likely to source new talent through personal referrals (27 per cent) compared to Western companies, with only 7 per cent. Engaging a specialist recruitment agency, in particular one that operates globally, can be a good solution for Asian businesses looking to expand their global footprint.

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