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The Chapman Consulting Group Co-Hosts an HR Leadership Forum in Jakarta

Hosted by: Campbell Arnott's

The Chapman Consulting Group, in conjunction with Campbell Arnotts, hosted a very successful Quarter 4 HR breakfast briefing at the Four Seasons Hotel in Jakarta on 8 December 2010. In attendance were more than 30 Heads of HR from a combination of multinational and local companies in Indonesia. The breakfast briefing looked at the latest Quarter 4 HR talent trends at play across the Asia Pacific region, but also the relevance (or in some cases lack of relevance) to current HR trends in Indonesia. Matthew Chapman, Managing Director of The Chapman Consulting Group, delivered the presentation, and HR Leaders engaged in a lively discussion during the morning with many questions and viewpoints.

Some of the interesting observations on HR talent issues for APAC and Indonesia made during the breakfast included the following :

  1. The ‘younger generation’ HR Leader and the high potential HR talent is looking for an international HR career outside of Indonesia. This raises the question of whether multinational (or even local) companies will be receptive to providing these international career paths to this talent. Also, will these expatriated Indonesian HR professionals be open to returning to Indonesia later in their careers, so that Indonesia reaps the benefit of this international experience?
  2. Government restrictions on HR Leaders needing to be local nationals has lead to the Indonesian HR market not necessarily having the infusion of international talent like other markets such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India have experienced. Some HR Leaders in attendance at the breakfast felt that this could hold back Indonesia’s competitiveness on the HR front in the future.
  3. Salaries for elite HR talent are rising in Indonesia – at all levels. International business leaders coming into Indonesia and needing better quality HR business support, as well as Regional or Global HR Leaders demanding higher quality HR talent in this rapidly growing market, are leading this salary increase.
  4. Relative to the more established neighbouring HR markets of Singapore and Hong Kong, more HR Leaders in Indonesia are wearing multiple hats outside of their HR responsibilities – including General Manager Deputyships, Legal and Compliance and Marketing/Communications responsibilities.
  5. Local ‘giants’ are attracting top calibre HR talent from multinationals. This HR talent is seeing the opportunity to apply their multinational experience and international HR perspective to these local companies, some of which are now expanding beyond Indonesia. These local companies are paying well and present the opportunity for HR Leaders to ‘stretch’ the size of the operations they are managing.
  6. Some participants noticed a possible trend of certain positions starting to be decentralised away from high cost locations like Singapore and Hong Kong, which might allow for Indonesian HR talent to gain exposure to regional roles while based in Indonesia. There was some evidence of regional talent and C&B roles in some organisations moving to Indonesia.

HR Leaders unanimously agreed that it is becoming more difficult to attract and retain good HR talent. Avenues to retain talent, such as sending people on short-term assignments, rotating them to the business, or moving them between different HR specialisations, are helping in this ‘war’. Indonesia is a rapidly growing market and is sometimes in the shadow of India and China or other emerging markets like Vietnam and Thailand on the regional agenda. But clearly with the growth that is going on, and the huge local market size, we’ll continue to see a greater regional spotlight put on upgrading HR capability in this critical geography.


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Key Contributors:

Matthew Chapman
Matthew Chapman


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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