Around 20 HR leaders came together at the office of Philip Morris International in Manila to discuss key talent challenges in the Philippines. A wide range of organisations were represented including ADP, Amadeus, BDO, CGI, Diageo, Emerson, GHD, Monsanto, Nestle and Trend Micro to name a few.

Finding and retaining the right talent is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face around the world. As the world becomes more globalised and digitised, people continue to be the biggest asset for most organisations. Although HR plays an integral part in building a culture that equips the organisation to make smart people decisions, strong leadership support from the C-suite is crucial.

The unique opportunities and challenges encountered by employers and employees in the Philippines provide fascinating insights into the country. The paradox of tradition and innovation, poverty and wealth, presents opportunities for organisations as well as formidable challenges. With a youthful population demanding change and opportunities, Generation Y represents around a quarter of the workforce. The economy itself is filled by a solid pipeline of national talent, but the diversity of this talent will continue to impact how organisations and leaders engage with them.

Many of the leaders who attended our roundtable shared stories and experiences of how their organisations are employing innovative approaches and practices to improve talent strategies. Adopting such approaches and practices aim to increase engagement, performance, productivity and efficacy of talent and are at the forefront of the HR agenda.

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As one of the six tiger countries of Southeast Asia, the country presents tremendous opportunities for multinational corporations. Our eyes are firmly placed on the Philippines and the Filipino workforce as they evolve and innovate their talent strategies. Thanks to Philip Morris International's Pierre Monserrate and Melanie Bernardo for facilitating the insightful discussions.