News: Developed markets to turn to East, South Asia for new talents -
20 May 2008
EXECUTIVES in development markets will increasingly look to countries belonging to East and South Asia for new talent, as the businesses are finding it increasingly tough to recruit and retain skilled employees in their own home countries, according to a survey published recently by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU survey indicated that nearly two-thirds of the 944 respondents believe that employee recruitment and retention will become tougher over the next three years, and over one-fifth see this as becoming “significantly harder.”
The survey noted that corporate recruiters are beginning to look outside their own markets to fill the skills gap. Many, particularly in the pharmaceuticals, information technology and engineering sectors, will increasingly tap developing countries for talent.
A majority of executives in the survey (56 percent) said their firms will look to recruit overseas.“Firms from the United States and Japan will increasingly look to East and South Asia for new talent, while firms based in the United Kingdom, Germany and France will look strongly to eastern Europe for recruits,” the survey noted.
The executives surveyed also acknowledged that traditional approaches will no longer suffice to ensure companies find and keep the people they need.
“Firms will need to recruit not only from other countries, but also from other industries, for example. Efforts may need to be undertaken to bring retirees and mothers back into the work force, and more flexible working arrangements for these and other employees will be needed,” said the EIU survey.
Certain industries will struggle more than others to attract skilled recruits. “There are fewer young people coming into the upstream oil-and-gas industry,” noted Anne Minto, group human-resources director at Centrica, a British electricity and natural-gas provider.
The EIU survey revealed that more pressing than the need for better technical skills is the demand for employees able to make use of softer management skills and techniques. Over two-thirds of executives in the survey, or 68 percent, believe that the ability to manage change will be critical to their organization’s success over the next three years.
The capacity to think strategically, to communicate effectively with people, as well as to analyze and problem-solve, are also highly sought-after skills by executives among new and existing employees.
The EIU survey was conducted online from February to March 2008. In all, 944 executives took part, of which 587 came from developed countries. It was sponsored by SAP, a leading provider of business software, offering applications and services.