Talent Acquisition in Emerging Markets: A Strategic Approach 

Explore the best way to attract talent in emerging markets.

Talent Acquisition in Emerging Markets: A Strategic Approach 
Table of Contents

Talent acquisition in emerging markets offers a unique combination of challenges and opportunities. Although we are in a globalized market, it's important to recognize that not all talent worldwide wants the same.

As we explore the intricacies of emerging markets, recent data and insights show us how the future of hiring in these dynamic economies is shaping up. If you are building and growing a global team, this guide is for you.

Intro to Talent Acquisition in Emerging Markets

As we navigate through 2023, businesses increasingly recognize the untapped potential of emerging talent hubs. 

Around 70% of HR professionals cite skill shortages as a major recruitment barrier, according to a recent report. This challenge has led organizations to broaden their horizons, seeking talent in countries poised for both economic growth and a surplus of skilled workers, such as South Africa, Colombia, India, and Indonesia, as forecasted by Oxford Economics.

The talent acquisition landscape in emerging markets is as diverse as the regions themselves. Focusing on Southeast Asia (SEA), we witness a growth in development accompanied by a growing workforce eager to make their mark. 

According to the Asian Development Bank, the region's economy was projected to expand by 4.8% in 2023, indicating a recovery after the pandemic and offering ample opportunities for talent acquisition (ADB, 2023). We've since witnessed that growth, despite the rocky waters felt among tech companies.

Focus on Southeast Asian Markets

Countries like The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand do not only boast thriving economies. They also serve as rich sources of untapped talent to recruit. 

For example, The Philippines has emerged as a center for customer service and operational support. It outsourcing due to its English-speaking population and strong cultural alignment with businesses (Serviap Global, 2021).

In countries like Malaysia, you'll find that candidates look for opportunities that can offer work-life balance along with a dynamic work environment.

Meanwhile, the tech talent pool in Vietnam is experiencing growth thanks to the government's investments in education and a young population that is well-versed in technology (Vietnam Briefing, 2021). The situation is similar across other countries in the region.

It's important to understand that a one-size-fits-all recruitment solution does not work in all these markets. It's crucial to grasp the intricacies of each country.

For instance, India's digital revolution has resulted in a surge in demand for IT professionals. The National Association of Software and Service Companies predicts that by 2024, there will be a 20% talent shortage compared to demand (NASSCOM, 2021) as the demand for skilled IT professionals increases.

Take a Strategic Approach to Talent Recruitment

To hire top talent in emerging markets, businesses must adopt a nuanced and strategic approach. Here are specific and actionable steps:

Here's what you should consider if you're looking to find top talent to join your organization:

1. Take a flexible approach to qualifications and skills:

  • Look beyond traditional metrics like job experience and academic achievements. Instead, emphasize soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. The most suitable candidates may not always come with conventional credentials but possess the potential to excel with the right opportunities.

2. Understand Local Cultures and Business Practices:

  • Research the economic climate, cultural nuances, and business practices of the target market.
  • Use local insights to avoid cultural misunderstandings and to tailor your recruitment strategy to local expectations.

3. Employer Branding:

  • Develop a strong employer brand that resonates with the values and aspirations of the local workforce.
  • Maintain an active presence on social media and professional networks to attract active and passive candidates.
  • Utilize platforms like Glassdoor or Crunchbase to manage your company's reputation and showcase positive workplace culture.

4. Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Implement a global talent acquisition strategy emphasizing diversity in race, gender, skill sets, age, religion, education, and interests. A diverse workforce is not just a moral imperative but a business one, with studies showing a direct correlation between diversity and a 2.5 times increase in cash flow per employee. 
  • Adopt geocentric and 'region-centric' approaches to integrate company culture with local practices and traditions.

5. Operational Efficiency:

  • Plan talent selection and retention strategies that are sensitive to local hiring practices and cultural expectations.
  • Outsource recruitment to a partner with expertise and a local presence by understanding and leveraging local talent behaviors.

6. Global Talent Pool:

  • Build an in-house global talent pool by maintaining a database of individuals interested in working with your organization.
  • Ensure this talent pool is diverse and aligns with your global expansion goals.

7. Alternative Work Arrangements:

  • Plan for flexible work arrangements for this diverse and multi-regional talent, including full-time remote work.
  • Employ contingent workers as a preemptive measure and to bring new insights and ideas to local markets.

8. Data-Driven Strategy:

  • Ensure your global talent acquisition strategy is data-driven, considering local labor laws, political stability, and market conditions. This expertise is difficult to build in-house, but you can count on professional support from partners like RecruitGo to handle this admin complexity.
  • Align top management with internal teams to ensure everyone works towards common global expansion goals.

9. Training and Development:

  • Invest in training and development programs to upskill local talent and prepare them for global roles.
  • Consider internal talent mobility to fill skill gaps and provide growth opportunities within the company.

Growing and Retaining A Global Team

The secret to building a winning global team is not only attracting top talent in emerging markets but also retaining it. 

Here are the top areas you can look into to enhance your employees' experience with the organization:

  1. Offer Accelerated Career Opportunities: Offer and deliver an accelerated career track or a clear opportunity to acquire new skills and experience fast. This implies not just a job but a career trajectory that is appealing in the long term.
  2. Emphasize Local Impact and Global Exposure: Your company's purpose should resonate with the job candidate's desire to benefit their home country while also expressing the value of having global exposure by joining the organization.
  3. Provide Stretch Assignments and Deployment: Offer opportunities for talented employees to take on challenging roles or assignments that can accelerate their career growth.
  4. Use Recruitment Tech: Adopt new tech to streamline the hiring process, saving time in admin work and engaging with employees efficiently.

By following these steps, your business can effectively navigate the complexities of talent acquisition in emerging markets and secure the skilled professionals needed for growth.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Navigating the intricacies of talent acquisition in emerging markets doesn't have to be a solo journey. Partnering with a seasoned expert who understands the nuances of global hiring landscapes can transform this challenge into a strategic advantage for your business.

This is where RecruitGo comes into play. As a seasoned partner in talent acquisition, we stand out as a top choice for companies looking to secure top talent in burgeoning markets across Southeast Asia and beyond.

Why Choose RecruitGo?

  • Local Expertise, Global Reach: RecruitGo brings a wealth of local market knowledge and a global perspective. This dual focus ensures that your talent acquisition strategy is culturally nuanced and internationally competitive.
  • Data-Driven Recruitment: With a commitment to a data-driven approach, Recruitgo empowers hiring decisions, ensuring they're not just based on intuition but on solid, actionable market insights.
  • Innovative Technology: Leveraging a cutting-edge platform, RecruitGo streamlines the entire recruitment process, from sourcing to onboarding and payroll, ensuring efficiency and a better candidate experience.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: RecruitGo helps you tap into a vast talent pool.
  • Customized Solutions: Recognizing that one size doesn't fit all, RecruitGo tailors its services to meet your unique needs, ensuring alignment with your goals.
  • Enduring Partnerships: More than just a service provider, RecruitGo seeks to build lasting relationships, becoming a trusted extension of your HR team.

Your Next Step

If you're ready to master the art of talent acquisition in emerging markets and secure a competitive edge in global hiring, let's talk.

Don't let the complexities of global hiring hold you back. Reach out today, and let's grow your team together.

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