Of Talent and Trends

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The APAC region is home to more than 4.2 billion people - over half the world’s population, with China and India alone accounting for almost 40% of this figure. People and potential labour pools are in abundant supply, in principle, but the availability of labour contrasts sharply with the availability of what we have come to term as “talent”.

Talent is not easy to come by. The much coveted trifecta of niche knowledge, specialist skill sets and leadership capability is a combination that is difficult to find and even harder to recruit. Talent knows they are sought after across all industry categories and role functionalities across the region, and that gives them currency.

For that reason, the continued strong demand for talent has driven employee turnover rates up to an estimated 14.1% across APAC in 2011, according to Kelly’s Global Research. This was one of the key findings that was uncovered in putting together Kelly’s APAC PT Salary Guide. It should also be noted that while there may be a slight softening in demand in 2012, keen competition for knowledge workers across all countries in APAC is still evident. Even as unemployment rates continue on an overall downward trend, talent scarcity in specialist areas like Engineering, Accountancy, Technology and Financial Services is further heightened.

The research also showed that hiring is expected to grow despite challenges like rising inflation and capacity shortages emerging in 2012. This growth is expected to exacerbate wage pressures in all countries. This will drive business costs up, especially when employers are serious about attracting and retaining the critical talent within their organisations.

In view of the cost pressures facing businesses, Dhirendra Shantilal, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Kelly Services said: “A compendium of information will help organisations and talented professionals gain a better understanding of the current state of wage pressures, through the provision of accurate and transparent contextual salary comparison and market outlook information across industries for eight  APAC countries.”

General APAC Trends Across Sectors:

Accounting & Finance

There is a measured approach to talent investment in back office functions. Traditional accounting roles has fallen in demand, while commercially-focused finance business partners are still highly sought after.

Banking & Financial Services

The Banking & Finance sector has been dampened by instability and economic volatility in Europe and the United States. It has been hit by the global turbulence, but the sector has broadened and deepened across the region, with emphasis in wealth management, private banking and insurance.

Information Technology

There is a robust growth in the IT sector with a high demand for skilled candidates across countries. Skills in application development, new and emerging technologies and areas demanding high levels of specialist knowledge such as Banking IT are creating wage pressures in these domains.

Engineering & Technical

There is a continuous demand for Engineers, especially in construction and the oil & gas sectors due to major projects coming into the region. Expertise in green technologies and engineering disciplines will continue to boost wage expectations.

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