By Yvonne Manzi
Social Media Officer, Profiles Asia Pacific
For your company to be successful in the Philippines, it is important that you do not simply apply general international recruitment practices. Across regions the differences can be more defined than you think, and failing to recognize and appropriately respond to them can lead to severe problems.
A 2012 Kelly OCG report outlines 5 ways in which you can improve your recruitment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Know what motivates.
Today it is widely accepted that to motivate employees to achieve their best results, companies need to give them more than just great salaries. Across regions, there are significant differences that are influenced by culture and values, which must be taken into account. What matters in HR is not why these issues arise, but how to respond appropriately. It is therefore of utmost importance for HR professionals to recognize the motivational trends in the region, and devise ways to address them.
In the Philippines, as in other countries in Asia-Pacific, the basis for employee motivation is the value they perceive they have. Applying Western-style opportunity+responsibility motivational methods is acceptable but limited; you must also practically show your employees that they have real worth. In general terms, this can be shown in two ways: through the right job title, and through corporate reputation. If the employee has an important job title, and he/she works for a company that is socially responsible, influential and that gives back to the community, the results will be more impressive. First, the employee will feel more valued and thus be motivated to perform better, and second, the clients will respond more positively because these cultural trends are ingrained in their mindsets as well.
Beware the pressures of a growing market.
In Asia-Pacific, a region with already limited skilled labor, talent search and retention is becoming increasingly difficult. The market is quickly growing both within specific countries and within other developing regions. This means that there are more and more opportunities for candidates all-around, and there are more incentives being offered to candidates by competing companies and recruiters. This means that it becoming even more critical for organizations to find the right long-term candidates who they will keep and develop for a long time.
Recruiters and HR professionals must make sure they have a number of skills in order to remain competitive in the Philippines. They must have:
a) an understanding of upcoming skills shortages
b) access to global candidate networks
c) strategies for developing and engaging existing employees
d) long-term strategies for increasing the inflow of talent
Dig deeper to measure candidate quality.
As I mentioned earlier, in emerging markets there is a shortage of highly skilled staff. 83% of responding companies blame this on hiring issues in Asia-Pacific, compared with percentages in the 70s for the Americas and EMEA. The complicating factors are low unemployment rates, largely given because of the aforementioned growth which affects most sectors.
According to the Kelly OCG report, this means that “it is common to find organizations seeking candidates without the ideal previous experience, but with the fundamentals to be able to learn as they go”. It is therefore important for your company to determine how effective the interview and screening process is. The skills that need to be measured are:
a) aptitude for learning
b) team-work and leadership
d) problem-solving and strategic insight
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to ensure this is to integrate assessment solutions in the hiring process.
The Kelly OCG report states that “contingent and temporary labor has grown almost everywhere in the past decade, yet it has grown exceptionally quickly in the Asia-Pacific market”. Promotion of this type of labor can indeed create insecurity in the lower end of the market, but the report explains that for those with high-level and in-demand skills, the situation is a win-win one. The candidates will be more inclined to participate because this will provide for improved work-life balance, they will be able to choose their favored projects, and it is especially beneficial for women who may want to remain or re-enter the job market while they have a family.
So, how to do this? According to the report, the steps are 3:
a) Determine what the success factors are for specific roles. They may not necessarily require permanency to reach the same results. Especially with the aid of internal networks and the right technology.
b) Focus on collaboration. Give managers the responsibility, but then allow them the freedom to delegate and re organize the work on their terms. They will be more able to target the strengths of particular individuals.
c) Engage specialists rather than generalists. This will increase the quality and productivity of work, and reduce job dissatisfaction.
Improve your “candidate experience”.
The candidate experience is the process the potential employee has to undergo when applying for a position within your company. Just like a customer, the candidate should also receive a positive experience. This means that it needs to be tailor-made for the candidate, and appropriately targeted and marketed.
The basic elements that are indicated by the report are 5:
1) The brand experience
2) The reputational experience
3) The technological experience
4) The human experience
5) The process experience
(See side figure for explanation)
If successfully done, what will this lead to?
There are 3 positive outcomes:
a) A desirable yet unsuccessful candidate will be more inclined to reapply to future opportunities
b) The successful candidate will be more engaged from the start
c) You will be perceived more positively in the recruitment market, and this will increase your inflow of applicants
These guidelines should provide you with some very valuable insight!