Asia-Pacific Region Talent Acquisition and Retention Challenges Underscore the Need for Total Talent Intelligence

Magnit | August 27 2022 |

Magnit’s recently released “APAC Labor Market Report” portrays current Asia-Pacific labor markets as extremely challenging both for companies headquartered in the region and for out-of-region companies starting or expanding operations there. According to the report, unemployment is low and job vacancy levels are high, especially in critical labor categories such as IT. For many business-critical roles, top talent is hard to pin down, and corresponding bill rates have been rising.

For example, in Australia, between November 2020 and February 2022, job vacancies rose by over 86%, while bill rates rose 20% or more within certain job categories. In such labor markets, companies are facing costly recruiting cycles, chasing down candidates for two to three months and then, in the current sellers' market, having difficulty retaining the talent they just hired.

Based on Magnit’s expansive global market data ecosystem and talent intelligence, the APAC Labor Market Report provides talent managers with a range of key data-driven insights into complex hiring conditions. It also discusses how companies across the region are adopting new data-driven strategies to source and retain talent, underscoring the need for powerful capabilities like Total Talent Intelligence.

3 Ways APAC Businesses Are Adapting to Market Conditions

Businesses operating in the APAC region have responded to these conditions by updating their talent attraction, sourcing and management practices, which invariably depend on being able to conduct a thorough analysis of market conditions and trends and candidate preferences and behaviors.

According to the report, three of the most common practices include the following:

1. Optimizing Compensation Packages
Top-tier APAC companies are understanding the necessity of well-tuned compensation packages that are in line with market rates and prevailing worker expectations are key to attracting and retaining top talent.  At-market pay levels, sign-on bonuses, strong work life balance , and improved benefits offer a clear worker value proposition. Pay levels can also be adjusted up and down, as supply and demand for specific positions change over time. Companies are also differentiating themselves by offering perks like private healthcare, gym memberships, wellness programs, and strong training and development plans.

For businesses to truly optimize their packages in an intensely competitive labor market, they will need finely segmented, real-time market data and analytical tools to edge out the competition.

2. Providing Real Flexibility for Workers
Many top businesses in the region have accepted that long-term remote and hybrid work is the new normal, is something that workers value highly, and can help organizations expand their talent pools. More broadly, work flexibility has become an important driver of positive employee experience n the years since the start of the panademic. Businesses must take it seriously and get it right if they want to attract top talent to work for the company.

To optimize the components of worker experience, including flexible work arrangements and remote work, it’s necessary to have insights into what the competition is offering and what policies are valued most by different types of job seekers.   

3. Elevating the Employer Brand
Leading APAC businesses recognize that nurturing an employer brand, which is a magnet for talent, is crucial to a successful global talent strategy. A positive employer brand means more than mastering and managing a range of sophisticated digital media approaches. It means walking the walk -- actually offering skills-development opportunities and providing a positive work experience that pre-sells candidates on working for the company before they are even contacted.

Adapting to market volatility, supply-demand imbalance, and intense competition in recent years, top-performing APAC businesses are increasingly viewing a great employer brand as an investment in resource stability and organizational agility.

Top companies across the region are pursuing these approaches to talent attraction, engagement and employee retention , but the APAC report also highlights the unique economic conditions, talent landscape details and human resources-related strategies that differentiate five key countries in the region: Australia, Singapore, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Contingent Workforce in the Region

Leveraging the contingent workforce is a key way for APAC businesses to adapt to both the volatility and talent/skill shortages. It’s been reported that over 30% of the total workforce across Asian countries is not under a full-time employment contract and can therefore be considered contingent labor.

It’s a region where, even though the use of contingent workers is common and growing, utilization of VMS technology and managed services is significantly lower than that of North America and even Europe. In a region where direct sourcing is a widely accepted practice, research indicates that nearly half of companies in the region are intending to expand their use of contingent workforce over the next two years.  They have an opportunity to leverage technology, data and talent intelligence and move toward an integrated workforce.

The Total Talent Intelligence Advantage

Companies in the APAC region have been responding to challenging labor market conditions and hiring and retention problems since the start of the pandemic. Based on macroeconomic trends, businesses can expect a continuation of APAC’s market volatility and supply-demand imbalances, fluctuating pay rates for specific roles, and workers’ desire for workplace flexibility. And businesses will be under competitive pressure to be “more intelligent” about how they attract, engage and retain full-time or contingent talent.

Being able to adapt, respond and gain an edge – not to mention survive -- in a volatile and highly competitive talent market requires new approaches.  Most importantly it requires comprehensive, highly specific, and dynamic talent intelligence as the basis for understanding and acting upon shifting market conditions and their impact on talent supplies and costs.

For a bird’s-eye view and crucial insights into APAC talent markets and how businesses are adapting to a world that has profoundly changed, check out our latest APAC Labor Market Report.  

If you’re interested in learning more about how Magnit is helping organizations implement winning contingent workforce programs globally, please contact a Magnit representative at

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of Magnit and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

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