Banking HR Leaders met in Hong Kong at the Quarter 4 Banking HR APAC update hosted at UBS and chaired by The Chapman Consulting Group. It had been three months since we last met and there was a lot to be discussed.
The banking sector remains sluggish in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. HR Leaders are looking more at how to drive efficiency in HR processes and needing to demonstrate their value-add to business leaders by acting on critical issues.
The points noted during the meeting included:
- Increased regulatory complexity is causing headaches for HR in Asia and this is set to intensify.
- Increased sophistication of HR shared services models is seeing lower value HR functions disappearing more from Singapore and Hong Kong and appearing into India and the Philippines. However this trend is destroying the bench-strength of junior HR talent in Singapore and Hong Kong who can move up into senior roles, which in turn is meaning more external hiring.
- Flexibility is being demanded more often in HR teams, and HR Leaders need to think more about allowing certain members of their teams to work part-time hours, have career breaks or work from home. All these trends remain in their infancy in Asia, but are expected to catch on quickly in the coming years in the banking sector.
- Banking bonuses are going to be lower for 2011. HR Leaders will need to play around with bonus pools to reward high performers, but average or low performers can expect small bonuses. Talent retention will be a key issue, although this issue will be moderated by the sluggish state of the overall banking HR market.
- HR Leaders are putting more effort into equipping their HR staff with stronger skills in tatransformation and resilience to cope with change. Change is a constant in future planning, many feel.
The APAC Banking HR Leaders group will reconvene in both Hong Kong and Singapore in February 2012 and then Mumbai and Shanghai in March 2012.
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