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How to beat the competition for top talent

According to the latest and 25th PwC Annual Global CEO Survey 58% of Asia Pacific CEOs identify health as the number one threat to organizational growth. This may be driven in part by the lack of access to local talent in critical areas. As a result, more professional services businesses in the Asia Pacific region are turning towards hybrid workforces comprised of a mix of full-time employees and various kinds of freelance or contract workers.

Thanks to the access and ease to engage freelancers for creative, repetitive, and professional work, the hybrid workforce looks to be a solution for addressing various talent and business challenges throughout this region. Talent acquisition leaders are shifting their focus beyond recruiting for full-time positions to accessing people with the right capabilities in new ways. They are embracing internal mobility, the alternative workforce, and new technologies to access more talent more quickly.

The recent Korn Ferry Global Talent Crunch study shows that companies must work to mitigate this potential talent crisis now to protect their future. This talent shortage will severely impact the growth of markets across APAC, with an imminent talent deficit of more 47 million workers and $4.238 trillion in unrealized annual revenue across the region by 2030.

They state that financial and professional services organizations will be hardest hit across the region, with a deficit of 3.7 million workers by 2030, resulting in an annual opportunity cost of more than $439.62 billion if labor shortages are not addressed.

Areas of concern

Unstable networks could prove dangerous for businesses, as unsatisfactory network connections significantly increase the chance that users will turn to insecure internet connections or devices to do their work. The risks of unsecured connectivity include an increased vulnerability to viruses and malware, and this risk increases when people work from home, as home wireless networks aren’t subject to the same levels of security, maintenance or monitoring as business networks.

Limited access to company resources and cybersecurity concerns can be addressed with the right cloud ERP solutions. ERP systems make life easier because they unify different systems and departments, centralize data, and allow better management of business processes. Therefore, ERP security is an essential part of keeping your business safe.

Another concern is the need for APAC organizations to further embrace collaboration and multi-disciplinary teams. While teams defined by organizational structure have served professional services firms well in the past, they are not suited to the rapidly evolving digital business environment we’re in today. Teams now need to embrace change, customer-centricity, cross-functional collaboration, diversity of thinking, rapid scaling, and agile ways of working.

So, what can professional services organizations in APAC do to combat the talent shortage? There are areas of people management that will assist in attracting and retaining top talent.

Facilitate learning

When you’re hiring new people to join your organization and they are forced to work remotely, a proper on-boarding will be even more key than in the traditional working format. You need to find fast, effective ways to get those people up to speed with the values of the organization and integrate them into the right team.

Giving your people the power to choose the training they do doesn’t just boost engagement, it allows you to transform training from a cost into a benefit. Integrating information from your HR and project planning platforms gives you the capability to match the learning aspirations of your people to upcoming projects. Giving them valuable on-the-job experience while ensuring the organization makes productive use of their time.

Unit4's Talent Management learning management system has an easy-to-use course builder that allows you to design courses, track completion, engagement and give real-time feedback. This way you don't have to postpone onboarding or training sessions and all your people will feel a real connection with your organization.

Continuous performance management

Remote working can be lonely, and people are at risk of feeling unsupported. It’s important to offer them the right support by regularly checking up on employees, measuring their engagement levels and taking timely action, following-up on their objectives and communicating on the organization's status and events.

Without an integrated HCM system it can be difficult to understand the skills you have available. Frameworks are often outdated, improperly maintained, and not easily accessed by the people who need them most. The acceleration in technology and the modern economy has created a situation in which the skills your organization needs five or ten years from now may be radically different to the ones needed today. An up-to-date, centrally accessible database of your peoples’ skills will allow you to anticipate the obsolescence of skills and job roles – and retain and upskill your talent – by helping you identify skills ‘adjacent’ to the ones your people already possess. Allowing you to identify potential re-training candidates for emerging or rare skillsets while retaining productive and engaged employees.

Employee Experience

Employee experience has become a catch-all phrase for everything and everyone the employee encounters while working for any organization. That it’s correlated to employee engagement is no longer in question: if you want to know what motivates your people to come to work every day — remote or not — consider what they deal with, how it makes them feel, and if it helps or hinders when it comes to getting their work done. 

The impact of technology on employee experience is something employers are going to want to get right by providing the technology that truly drives a great employee experience.

Self-Service is about being able to access, run, and own a process whenever possible. Many employers saw just how willing employees were to step up to the plate when it came to Employee Self Service (ESS) during the pandemic, when a shift to remote meant that organizations had to rely on their employees’ digital savvy, willingness to learn, and their willingness to prioritize. It wasn’t an experiment we planned, but by and large, it worked — and taught employers a great deal about the power of autonomy when it comes to a range of work and HR tasks.

Streamlining processes has reduced the friction of waiting for managers and other departments. And so long as the ESS portal is simple, easy to use, and engaging, it won’t just be digital native generations that are comfortable using it: everyone will, and ESS will become part of your workplace culture, driving a sense of employee experience as empowered, efficient, and self-driven.

Automation is a key driver of employee motivation, people appreciate being freed from the tedium of repetitive tasks when they can be. Incorporating automation into the work process enables people to allocate more focus and time to higher level tasks. Automating tasks such as invoicing, purchasing, reporting, forecasting and analytics can provide a level of data and intelligence that can enhance and empower employees’ ability to make strategic decisions. Unit4 research found that more than 70% of back-office processes make great candidates for automation — which enables employees to become far more involved in decision making, collaboration and innovation, as well as skills development — which ties into the continuing appetite for growth. 

Keeping engagement high has always been vital for productivity – and that’s never been truer than the past two years. Technology now allows you to give people more control over how they do their job and what their job looks like, and how they pursue their career development. Custom learning programs for all your people will give you the ability to enrich your employees’ experience of work and keep them more engaged and productive. It will enrich the services your people can offer to the people your organization ultimately serves, help you tackle skill and capability gaps, and show your people that you’re committed to investing in them and their growth as a core part of your overall strategy.

How can Unit4 help?

Unit4 HCM has been built to help people-centric organizations manage the full lifecycle and people experience of employees. This includes a truly integrated approach to learning and development and skills management. To discover what our product is capable of, check out this page or get in touch to book a demo.

Learn about Service Performance Insight's (SPI) thoughts on future-proofing your talent strategy in this short eBook.

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