Q1 Quarterly Update 2014 – Global

My agenda for Q1 has seen me travel a lot over the course of the year so far and with all the different offices having their own unique problems it has also meant that I have seen some common themes starting to appear in the global recruitment market:

• Market conditions globally have seen the number of roles we have on increase in each location
• We have seen buy back scenarios in 3 out of 4 of our locations:
Clients appear to have reduced their HR teams to their absolute minimum and are now far more protective about their talent.
Offers with just a 10-15% pay rise might now not be enough to get someone across line. Companies are increasing salaries and making changes to their roles in order to keep people.
• Learning & Development roles are making a comeback
• RPOs (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) are very much the current trend in Asia, the real question here is can they sustain the required quality to make the model stick. This is a tried and tested model in the West but has never previously succeeded to the degree that it should in Asia.

What the above seems to be telling me is that while we are definitely not out of the woods there is definitely a lot more positivity for candidates in the market. This probably won’t have a huge impact just yet on salaries but the turn of events does mean you have a little more choice.

Clients shouldn’t panic, this doesn’t mean we’re going to get to the levels we saw in 2006/07, but it does mean that you should be looking at amending your style to hiring. My main points to this would be:

1. You need an HR Employer Value Proposition. You need to sell both your company and the role available. Over the last few years your role might well have been the only one on the market, that is no longer the case, and while you want them to come in wanting the role, you also need to sell the opportunity to them.

2. Be solution driven. Clients having needed to fill roles of late, if they stumbled across the ideal person then great, but they didn’t have to hire. Now companies have one eye toward growth and you might not always get what you exactly want. Think about what plan b or c would look like, talk to your recruiter about how easy this may or may not be.

3. Additional benefits count for a lot again. Recently it has been more important to be in a job than anything else, now, with the greater choices on offer things like flexible working, family medical benefits etc. all come back into play.

On a final note, I would also like to announce that we did launch our Emerging Leaders series in
Hong Kong and was exceptionally proud to have Nick Avery (Head of Talent Management at BlackRock) and 40 of Hong Kong’s finest generation Y HR talent in attendance. Our 2nd event in this series will take place in June and we will then look to roll this out in Singapore in September. If anyone is interested in speaking or being part of this please do let us know, the feedback has been fantastic and we are very pleased to support the growth of HR development globally.

As always, there are links to the country market updates and we will also publish our salary survey in the coming weeks.

Have a great Q2!

Stuart Elliott, Global Managing Director
+852 2526 8588

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