Recruiting Trends in Asia for 2011


As the year is winding down, I am going to take a stab at looking into the future, the year in 2011.

The job market is picking up and corporate recruiters need to step up and be part of the game.  The below are the 5 trends that will predominately occupy recruiting strategies for this next year.

#1) Use of Social Media – Top on the list is making traction with social media recruiting.  While this is has been a hot topic in the last several years, few companies have effectively leveraged its maximum potential.  Asia lags behind the US in using social media for recruiting.

  • Recruiters need to improve their approach in utilizing social networks.  It is more than just linking.
  • This also requires company’s IT department to rethink their social media policies.  Many companies disallow employees from accessing social network sites – leaving recruiters out of the game.
  • Recruiting departments need to provide training to the recruiting team of effective use of social media.  It is not about randomly linking people to increase the number of connections but the strength of those relationships is key.

#2) Executive Search Background – Corporate recruiters have relied too heavily on 3rd party agencies to supplement their recruitment efforts.

  • Recruitment managers will increasingly hire recruiters with executive search background.
  • A good recruiter will need to know market dynamics and industry knowledge.  They need to have contacts; they know where to find key talent.
  • Rather then processing a candidate, top-rate recruiters know how to interview and select talent.  They have the experience to evaluate and help managers make decisions on critical hires.  Pressure to reduce hiring costs will place increasing premium on the “executive recruiter.”

#3) Sales and Networking – In-house recruiters tend to work managing internal processes.

  • Recruiters need to step out of the office to network with the industry.  Attend industry conferences or business network events.
  • Having 500 connections on LinkedIn isn’t enough.  Sending job vacancy emails by itself will not get the necessary results.  Recruiters need to pick up the phone to pitch candidates and jobs.
  • Corporate recruiting need to know how to sell the company to candidates; and to identify and sell top-candidates to managers.

#4) Regional Recruiting – The recruiting function is moving towards a centralized function; another name for this is Center of excellence or shared service.  Singapore used to be the center but, China is increasingly becoming a hub.

  • Singapore recruiters need to hone in their exposure and expertise with China recruiting; at the same time maintain their core competencies in South East Asia.
  • China recruiters need to live up to the “Greater China” label and source outside of the mainland market.  Companies are starting to based their HQ in the China thus, recruiters are expected to have expertise in the Asia market.
  • Learning to partner with the corporate headquarter teams is crucial to being successful.  Always “educated upwards” with the corporate recruiting team to gain buy-in on the Asia’s unique recruiting market.

#5) Employer Branding – Businesses have been hit hard in the last couple of years.  Companies made some tough choices with layoffs and salary freezes.

  • Corporate recruiters should relook at their external message to rebuild trust that may have been eroded.
  • Don’t forget about the existing employees – they are even more valuable.  Building an internal brand messaging can help with retaining talent.
  • Rebuild your employee referral programs.  Getting your employee base excited again and leverage the base as an extension of your recruiting arm.

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