Asean's hiring outlook to remain positive in 2019: Robert Walters

NOVEMBER 28, 2018 - 1:52 PM

Southeast Asia’s hiring outlook in 2019 is expected to remain positive as digitalisation and the region’s role as an industrial hub continue to grow, according to the latest annual Salary Survey by Robert Walters.

In particular, professions in high demand include specialists with relevant IT skillsets, as well as those with industrial experience across various roles.

The survey noted that robust growth in maturing Asean economies such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are expected to continue, as multinational companies and foreign direct investment continue to drive stiff competition for skilled and experienced talent. In comparison, hiring in Singapore and Malaysia will remain stable and modest, as companies seek greater productivity through the hiring of better-skilled professionals.

With Southeast Asia’s growing role as an industrial hub within Asia, IT specialists in the niche areas of cyber security, big data and artificial intelligence remain in high demand, as well as digital experts beyond the technology sector.

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Professionals with industrial experience across a range of roles, including engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing, finance and human resources, will be highly sought after as well, said Robert Walters.

With a global talent shortage in key sectors, companies are evolving their hiring needs too to attract suitable specialists. Local talent will continue to be in demand, while an increasing trend of businesses seeking out overseas expansion opportunities has propelled interest for “glocal” talent, or local talent with international experience.

As companies step up efforts to retain their top skilled talent by investing in training, offering benefits such as flexible working arrangements and providing attractive counter-offers, hiring managers are seeking innovative solutions to draw candidates.

“There is greater urgency now for hiring managers to expand their pool of candidates and reach out to local professionals residing overseas with the necessary expertise, skill sets and international experience. Companies, particularly those in the more mature markets, are also looking to refine and optimise their recruitment processes, with more seeking outsourcing solutions,” said Toby Fowlston, Managing Director for Southeast Asia, Robert Walters.