Mass talent exodus – it’s a theme that’s dominated headlines and made even the most established companies sweat. In 2020, LinkedIn predicted that Asia-Pacific (APAC) would face a labor shortage of 12.3 million workers — a number estimated to rise to 47 million by the following decade.
Today, the war for tech talent is fiercer as companies scavenge for top candidates to fill software and information technology roles – a need brought on by the limitless pace of digitization.
Tech dominates fast-growing roles in APAC
According to CIO, APAC’s 2022 top in-demand tech roles include information security analysts, software developers, computer programmers, systems analysts, and network/cloud architects.
Another study by Michael Page and the Economic Development Board of Singapore revealed that of the current 3.1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide, 66 percent originate from APAC.
Also cited in the study was blockchain, another high-growth sector with a whopping 1,457 percent increase in cryptocurrency-related jobs in the last four years. But APAC is still struggling to measure up, with 29 percent reporting a shortage of blockchain talent.
What is tech talent asking for?
With the “Great Resignation” comes the “Great Reshuffling” of talent. Like a siren signaling the need for change, the movement has forced companies to sit up, notice, and respond to shifting tech employee needs.
In APAC, this pivot is more crucial than ever. The region has seen a worrying shortage of tech talent, a growing skills mismatch, and an ageing population in China, Australia, and Japan — APAC recruiters have no choice but to set their sights on international talent pools.
One out of four workers in Singapore intends to quit their job by the first half of 2022, suggests jobs portal Indeed. Where will this talent go? What will attract them? And how can companies stand out from their competition?
Don’t scrimp on perks and benefits
According to a NodeFlair report, the average salary of a software engineer in Singapore increased by 32 percent in 2021, an all-time high. When it comes to software engineers, most companies are willing to pay 12 percent more than the median, but 60 percent are willing to fork out an additional 25 percent. Tech talent is increasingly demanding more money — and getting it.
But offering a competitive salary isn’t enough. Stock options and equity are a honeypot for top-tier tech talent. Apart from giving employees a sense of ownership over the business, they can also provide motivation due to the possibility of a lucrative payout once the company goes public.
To sweeten the deal and stand out, companies can include comprehensive health insurance, unlimited time off, attractive professional development plans, and a selection of tech tools — a hot favorite for tech project managers, developers, and analysts.
Employer branding is not an afterthought
Today, any digitally savvy individual does their due diligence on a prospective company before pulling the trigger and accepting an offer.
Tech candidates can quickly access brutally honest reviews about compensation, company culture, and even pictures of the prospective workplace online. There are specific sites designed to make this research easy — some even provide a Q&A section that allows users to anonymously pose questions about current or former employers.
Which is why employer branding remains a priority. The way companies market themselves can determine their success in attracting key talent, especially for smaller tech companies fighting against large, established firms.
In 2021, Apple caused a stir when Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told his global workforce of 137,000 employees that they’d have to return to the office three times a week.
In response, several tech employees published an open letter criticizing the move, saying: “Over the last year, we often felt not just unheard but at times actively ignored.” Several employees quit in response.
Employer branding that fails to account for the needs of top employees will lose existing talent and shun potential candidates. Startups and smaller companies are taking notes, actively listening, and tapping into the desires of the tech talent pool.
Take PayPay, for example. The Japanese fintech company embodies the flexible mantra by providing a work-from-anywhere allowance and access to WeWork offices all over Japan to all its employees.
Reinvent the rules – rethink business as usual
The amount of Gen Z tech graduates across APAC is increasing. India produced three-quarters of the world’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates between 2016 and 2018 alone.
Gen Z is expected to take the tech world by storm. The demographic currently accounts for 30 percent of the global population and 25 percent of the workforce. A CloudBees survey revealed that three out of every ten 18-to 24-year-olds want to become software developers after graduation.
Although this generation is growing in numbers, engaging and drawing them towards companies is tough.
Gen Z is directly influencing employers to tear back decade-long policies that no longer resonate with today’s human-centric workplace. In fact, Gen Z is leading the “Great Migration,” so companies must revamp outdated policies to attract quality tech talent.
Stave off boredom by providing learning and development opportunities for Gen Z tech talent. As true digital natives, this generation values interactive learning and expects technology to play an instrumental role in facilitating a wholesome training experience. Companies can utilize gamification and other video-based collaborative platforms to engage Gen Z tech talent.
Talent acquisition teams can additionally leverage technology to create an automated and personalized HR experience that can attract premier tech talent.
Build a talent acquisition strategy that works
Identifying tech professionals’ needs is a step in the right direction. But without a successful talent acquisition strategy that can satisfy organizational needs, tech companies will run into roadblocks throughout the hiring process.
Partner with Globalization Partners to quickly identify and hire tech team members anywhere in the world. G-P Recruit, our recruitment offering, gives companies access to an unrivaled selection of recruiting specialists to find the perfect tech talent based on your unique requirements, including industry, location, prior roles, and more.