The Chapman Consulting Group and Maersk today co-hosted an HR Leaders gathering to discuss the latest HR trends across the Asia Pacific region. Over twenty HR Leaders attended the session and it proved to be a great opportunity to share ideas and best practice.
Matthew Chapman, CEO of the Chapman Consulting Group, set the scene for the session by highlighting his observations on the HR market, summarised below:
- Demand has slowed for the hiring of HR talent within the financial services sector, but this trend has not extended to other industries yet.
- Clients are moving more cautiously when hiring HR talent and average process times (from raising the requisition to extending the offer) are extending.
- China is the hottest location, in terms of demand, for senior HR Leaders and also one of the toughest to find talent.
- Expectations on HR talent are higher than ever and the Asia market is quickly becoming exhausted in certain specialist roles, for example Employee Relations (ER), Compensation & Benefits (C&B), and Mobility.
- Reorganisation and redesign of businesses is affecting HR roles and is creating challenges in retaining and attracting HR talent.
The group concluded that a number of trends are creating both challenges and opportunities for HR Leaders, summarised below:
- Those managing China from Hong Kong felt that the ability to find and retain talent in China was affecting their opportunity to grow, from a cost and availability standpoint.â€‹
- Many industries (logistics, technology, consumer goods) are wrestling with how to develop the next generation of HR Leaders especially in specialist areas such as C&B or ER when there is no obvious feeder population outside HR.
- With the current unsettled economic climate there was a feeling that businesses were questioning how much investment should be made in HR. Vacant roles are not being replaced (in some instances) and there is more evidence of ‘double hatting’.
- Managing Compensation within Asia is going to be even tougher if the rest of the world falters. Top performers in Asia will suffer on bonuses due to overall profitability.
- China trade unions are in early development but best practice needs to be considered now to be ready for widespread unionisation in the future.
- Competition for HR talent is hot between multinationals and local based companies in China and Hong Kong. The chance to have more accountability and be more at the centre of decision making is attracting many MNC HR Leaders.
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