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Indonesian HR Leaders Discuss the Demands of HR Talent in APAC and Emerging Markets

Hosted by: Campbell Arnott's

Campbell Arnotts was the host for another inspiring HR Leaders session at the Mandarin Oriental last Thursday. Over thirty HR Heads were in attendance for the latest Half Yearly Indonesian HR Leaders Breakfast. Chaired by Matthew Chapman and sponsored by Campbell Arnotts, the session attracted HR Leaders from organisations including American Standard, Philip Morris, Danone, Microsoft, Ericsson, AXA, Energiser, Mattel, General Electric, Nestle, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and many more.

Many hot topics were discussed during the forum which covered the demands of HR Talent in APAC and Emerging Markets – including hiring issues, megatrends, market trends and the impact on APAC from the global dimension. There was some really interesting discussion around how flexible working practices are being adopted in Indonesia and how virtual teams / decentralised regional headquarters are operating. The group also discussed the infamous talent shortage (particularly in compensation and benefits) and the need to grow and develop talent from within and consider hiring based on the ‘8 out of 10’ solution based on attitude and potential as opposed to direct prior experience. Stemming from this, retention solutions including developing ‘double hat’ HR roles were discussed as a good way to develop top talent.

Succession planning was a popular topic, during the presentation, with interesting observations about accountability for planning own successor either internally or even beyond existing employer. The need for clear foresight and planning to create pipelines along with competitive and sustainable longer term career mapping is going to be vital for the ability of organisations to remain competitive longer term. Another interesting point suggested by Matt was the need for organisations to be aware of not ‘over hiring’ and to focus on aligning HR / retention strategies on what the current model can practically cope with.

Megatrends covered included the current focus on local companies warring with (and often winning against) western multinationals for top HR talent. The continual changes to geographic coverage or HR roles and in HR delivery models together with how the value-for-money equation for HR is being eroded quickly in large, rapid growth markets with rising salaries and a forever decreasing talent pool. Asia based careers are increasingly
desirable for foreign HR talent and interestingly local HR talent is not necessarily wanting to move outside the region with returnee talent on the rise. Short term assignments are now a more viable option for mutinationals keen to provide head office exposure to local Asian talent and vice versa.

Potentially the hottest topic of the session was around the ability for HR Leaders to gain cross functional exposure and secure non HR roles in the future. It was widely agreed that the liklihood of moving into a business role would come down to the ability of the HR professional to really understand the business, offer a fresh perspective and have a passion for making a tangible difference. The evolving nature of regional HR Structures was also considered, and specifically how this is impacting Indonesian companies. Recent trends in the HR profession across APAC and these are playing out for Indonesian HR Talent were raised with some really interesting discussion and debate from attendees.

The Indonesian HR Leaders forum will reconvene in Jakarta later this year.


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Key Contributors:

Matthew Chapman
Matthew Chapman


Global Management
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Matthew Chapman
Global Management

Matthew Chapman


Matthew (Matt) Chapman is the Founder of ChapmanCG.

He has also created the Thrive HR Exchange, a global community platform for people leaders and HR professionals to find and exchange inspiration, ideas and insights. Discover some of his interviews with HR leaders here.

Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Business Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a Singapore Citizen and divides his time between Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA.

Matt is a wellness, self-improvement and fitness addict. He has completed six desert, 250km ultra-marathons in Chile, China, Egypt, Antarctica, Namibia and Madagascar.

EA Registration Number: R1111550 Licence Number: 08S3543