Do Asia’s SMEs have talent?

Ryan Poggi, Managing Director, SAP Philippines

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Credit: SAP

What do "Asia's Got Talent", "Asian Idol", and "The Voice" all have in common? ...The ability to attract amazing talents who participate in these competitions to kickstart their careers.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many companies who are seeking to attract global talent in the workforce.

In fact, according to ManpowerGroup's 11th-annual Talent Shortage Survey, the global talent shortage is at its highest since 2007 - some 40 percent of employers globally reported that they are experiencing difficulty filling jobs. Coupled with the challenge of an aging population, it is of little wonder that 46 percent of employers in Asia Pacific - the highest globally - reported difficulty filling jobs.

In the war for talent, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally come across as the poorer cousins of multi-national corporations (MNCs) given their budgets. In fact, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) noted in a recent study* that access to financing remains a challenge for SMEs in developing countries. In fact, Philippine SME loans (equivalent to 3.1 percent of GDP) is the second lowest in Southeast Asia, next to Myanmar's 0.1 percent, lagging well behind their neighbuors in terms of SME loans to a total of 10.3 percent.

This issue, combined with the lack of resources to identify, train, and retain top workers often lead to a struggle in the battle of talent acquisition.

However, today, with the help of technology, that is slowly changing.

Even though they are the economic backbone of most economies across Asia Pacific, many SMEs are looking to leverage tools and solutions to overcome barriers in human resource to win in today's digital economy -- from efficiently managing and growing teams, to attracting new talent.


Auditioning 'rock star' new talent

Hiring the right person, with the right skill and one that will fit into the organisational culture is always a challenge, but the right person can have a measurable impact on business performance of the company. Recruitment today is complicated with a multitude of sourcing avenues - from employee recommendations, student applications to cold calls from around the globe.

Online talent platforms are a valuable source for people to identify opportunities that closely align with their skills and help overcome the talent shortage. These platforms can not only help build talent pipelines, but also enable effective engagement with active and passive candidates. It can also shorten the time and cost it takes to hire. Furthermore, there is an opportunity to gather data and insights into the demand for specific skills to enable recruiters to make decisions about training, upskill existing employees and also make strategic decisions about future growth requirements.

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