12 March 2014

Talented Southeast Asia uncovers five regional human capital themes in Southeast Asia

PageUp People, a multinational talent management solutions provider, launched Talented Southeast Asia in Singapore on March 11. The book is the only publication solely focused on talent management in Southeast Asia, and addresses key challenges and the future outlook for employers consolidated from over 100 interviews conducted over a 12 month period with business and human resource (HR) leaders. 

“Southeast Asia is a unique region with distinct characteristics, and each market is different in the way these multinationals manage, motivate and engage their talent. It has been a remarkable journey over the last 12 months, and we are thankful to our contributors for sharing their rich experience so openly and unreservedly with us,” says Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, PageUp People’s Senior Vice President of Global Research and co-author of the book. 

“By 2050, Asia will house 52% of the global workforce. The core purpose of Talented Southeast Asia is to provide ideas to large organisations that will further accelerate their goal of achieving business success through talent management excellence.”

Talented Southeast Asia is a thought leadership initiative of PageUp People Global Research and explores the experiences and lessons of 50 top multinationals with existing operations in the region. Through in-depth interviews with contributors, Talented Southeast Asia identifies the top ten priorities in talent management. 

Cariss, left, and Vorhauser-Smith, right.

The need to attract, develop and retain organisational talent accounts for 75% of these top priorities for business and HR leaders in Southeast Asia. Other priorities include leadership, succession planning and business transformation. In addition, the five regional themes that emerged are:

1. Balancing global consistency with regional autonomy – 63% of contributors felt having regional autonomy for talent management decisions and processes was critical 

2. Embracing the complexities of the region – HR executives need to understand the unique labour market nuances of each country, adding to the complexity of their roles 

3. Respecting eastern values and cultures – 89% felt the ability to understand and work within the local culture was key 

4. Leaders need ‘agile heads, hearts and hands’ – the complexities of Southeast Asia demand business leaders with a distinct set of leadership capabilities 

5. Changing mindsets change the workforce – the mindset of the Southeast Asian digital natives are already evolving away from traditional ways of working 

In order to address this young and highly connected workforce, Talented Southeast Asia also reveals the changing practices being adopted in talent attraction, engagement and retention. "Fresh Practices" outlined in the book include the increased use of innovative models such as learning management systems powered by social networks, gamified learning, mobile interfaces for task management, and real-time performance evaluation and feedback. 

“Southeast Asia has a youthful population, ranging on average, between 23 and 35 years. This is the new generation of always-on employees and HR executives are transforming their systems to keep up with this trend. Technology innovation plays a critical role in this transformation and billions of dollars are being invested to this end globally,” said Karen Cariss, co-author of the book and CEO of PageUp People. 

Over 50 companies including Bosch, BHP Billiton, Deloitte, Dentsu Aegis Networks, DHL, Mastercard, Hilton Worldwide, Pandora, and Sony participated in the interview process, across six countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Participating firms are global corporations with a significant presence in two or more of these ASEAN 6 countries.  

The authors will be available for meet-and-greets at:

Talent Management 2014 
March 18-19, 2014 
InterContinental Hotel, Singapore 

HR Summit 
April 28-29, 2014 
Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre 

HR Technology Conference & Exposition 
October 7 - 10, 2014 
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, USA 

To order the book, click the "buy now" button here or visit the Amazon page here.  

*Images from PageUp People.