A new study from leading recruitment company Michael Page tracks the changing and challenging role of HR globally. The results are based on extensive data collected from over 2,500 HR managers in organisations ranging from SMEs to blue-chip brands in a cross-section of industries.

The standout finding is that the HR function is undergoing radical change. From being regarded mainly as an administrative function, HR is becoming a strategic partner, aligned ever more closely with the business and focused on recruiting, developing and managing the talent on which organisational success depends. Almost half (40%) of senior HR leaders in Greater China directly report to the highest levels of management (CEO, CFO etc.)

The race for talent is back on
The report provides compelling evidence that organisations are gearing up for a new "war for talent":

  • Nearly half (49%) of HR leaders in Greater China expect their workforce to expand over the next 12 months
  • 24% of organisations have increased their budget for recruitment in the recent months
  • The technology sector is leading the global demand for talent

Talent management ranks at the top of HR priorities
Asked to identify their most pressing priorities, South East Asia’s HR leaders once again showed their focus on talent:

  • Talent management – 38%
  • Talent acquisition/recruitment – 35%
  • Training & development – 34%

A mixed picture on recruitment plans

The survey brings to light regional differences: for example, only 49% of HR managers in Greater China expect to see an increase in staffing levels over the next 12 months, as opposed to 75% in the Middle East. Conversely, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, only 2% of Greater China HR organisations consider it a priority, which is exactly on par with the global average.

Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director, Michael Page Greater China and South East Asia comments: “The survey takes an objective look at the challenges and priorities of senior HR managers and leaders across the world. Greater China HR leaders have been found to be below the global average for the percentage reporting to the highest levels of management, but they appear to be slightly ahead of the curve when it comes to optimism for workforce increases.”

To view the full report, visit the Michael Page News & Research Centre.

About the Michael Page study
From May to June 2015, HR managers and leaders around the world were invited to participate in an online survey for Michael Page’s Global Insights: HR Barometer 2015.

The study polled the views of 2,572 respondents located in in 65 countries in seven regions (Continental Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East) and covered a range of industries and sectors, from media to manufacturing, consumer goods to construction.