Asia-Pacific business leaders forecast talent shortages

Businesses in the region expect to increasingly turn to contingent workers to alleviate disruptions in the talent pipeline.

According to a new report, more than 6 out of 10 C-suite level executives across the Asia Pacific (APAC) expect talent shortages over the next few years to adversely affect their businesses.

The finding was revealed during the launch of the Workplace Agility Barometer report by recruiting firm KellyOCG, which was attended by HRM Asia.

The study - which involved 210 management executives from Singapore, Australia, India, and Malaysia - revealed that Singaporean respondents were even more pessismistic, with three-quarters predicting disruptions in their business due to talent shortages.

Despite the apparent sense of impending doom, only around half of APAC respondents (53%) engaged HR in business strategy development, while just slightly more than a third (37%) felt their HR was capable of providing strategic workforce insights.

However, about eight out of 10 did believe that their HR colleagues were, at minimum, competent at enabling business strategy.

“C-suite leaders understand that more needs to be done to ensure workforce planning is addressed when developing business strategies,” said Tatiana Ohm, Vice President and General Manager, at KellyOCG SEA.

“In today’s challenging business environment, some leaders are already working towards ensuring that they have a nimble workforce. To adapt during times of uncertainty, they are becoming increasingly dependent on contingent workers,” she added.

In fact, the study found 88% of the surveyed respondents (83% in Singapore) plan to grow or maintain their troop of contingent workers (e.g. freelancers, temporary contractors, etcetera) in view of the expected talent shortages.

“Businesses need to look beyond traditional HR training and development and tap into workforce data and insights to determine a holistic workforce management approach. By doing so, they will be able to identify the right talent at the right time and for the right value. This will ensure that their workforce is future-proof and ready to tackle the challenges ahead,” said Ohm.

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