19 April 2013: Human Resources (HR) leaders across the Asia Pacific will focus on talent management during 2013, using multiple channels to source talent and implementing a range of staff incentives in an effort to attract exceptional professionals to their business.

This is one highlight finding in the Michael Page Global HR Barometer 2013 report, based on the responses of more than 4,300 HR leaders around the world who shared their opinions in a survey conducted by global recruitment consultancy, PageGroup.

According to the survey findings, the top priorities for HR leaders working within Asia is compensation & benefits (55% of respondents) and talent acquisition & recruitment (53%) while for those in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), most (57%) rated talent acquisition & recruitment as priority followed closely by 56% selecting employee relations & change management.

“The key challenge for employers and HR leaders in Asia Pacific during 2013 will be talent attraction, particularly within an environment where job opportunities for professionals are expected to be relatively positive,” says Mr. Gary James, Regional Managing Director of PageGroup in Asia Pacific. “Hiring employers need to focus on individuals’ career aspirations and understand that more professionals are paying attention to long-term career opportunities, not just remuneration, when considering changing jobs and employers,” he adds.

Overall survey findings reveal 86% of companies globally are planning to recruit in 2013 and hiring activity is also expected in the Asia Pacific, with the vast majority of survey respondents in Asia (91%) and ANZ (91%) indicating the intention to hire this year. However while quality professionals will be required, the search for good talent remains a challenge, particularly in Asia. Some 40% of Asia-based survey respondents report the search for qualified candidates to be difficult or very difficult compared with 28% of ANZ-based respondents with this view. The results for both regions however, are below the 47% of respondents globally who view the search for qualified candidates to be difficult or very difficult.

Given this challenging talent acquisition environment, the HR departments of companies around the world are taking advantage of the multiple channels available to source talent. According to the survey findings, 91% or respondents globally use online job-posting sites, 84% use their own company website and 83% employ recruitment consultancies. Moreover, according to 45% of HR leaders surveyed, recruitment consultancies are the best route to finding and recruiting at managerial levels and above.

“Employers across the Asia Pacific continue to seek skilled professionals to add value to their business and, from a jobseeker perspective, there are some solid career opportunities for talented people. Both employers and employees are taking advantage of the range of sourcing solutions available today and recruitment consultancies in particular have the experience and the resources to match jobseekers with hiring employers,” adds Mr. James.

Alongside talent attraction, employee retention is also a focus for the vast majority of HR leaders responding to the survey. Eight out of ten businesses globally now offer work-life balance options, although outside Australia, home office and parental leave initiatives are still rare. However, work-life balance was also rated as one of the most challenging policies to implement, along with compensation & benefits, by respondents around the world.

“Finding good people is one thing; keeping them is another. Work-life balance has become an integral part of the retention agenda for most businesses worldwide, but based on the survey findings it seems employers in Australia and New Zealand are doing the most to foster work-life balance, including the provision of initiatives such as health and wellness programs and time compensation for extra hours worked,” says Mr. James.

About the Michael Page Global HR Barometer 2013
The Michael Page Global HR Barometer 2013 provides an informed perspective of some of the priorities and challenges facing HR leaders in their businesses during 2013. More than 4,300 HR leaders across the globe responded to the online survey representing a range of professional sectors, with a quarter (25%) working within the industrial manufacturing sector. A third of those surveyed (33%) have been in their current position for over 10 years and most (42%) currently work in a company with between 100 and 499 employees.