Most Asia-Pacific companies have trouble finding, retaining talent

The vast majority of Asia-Pacific companies continue to struggle with attracting and retaining the high-potential and critical-skill employees needed to increase their global competitiveness, according to Towers Watson.

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The latest survey by the global professional-services company found that:

  •  79 per cent of employers in the Asia-Pacific region had problems attracting critical-skill employees
  • 73 per cent had difficulty attracting high-potential staff
  • compared with global figures of 72 per cent and 60 per cent.

Talent attraction is even more challenging in fast-growing Asia-Pacific economies:

  • 84 per cent of employers are finding it difficult to attract critical-skill employees
  • 80 per cent for high-potential employees.

Employers also encountered retention challenges:

  • 70 per cent of respondents experiencing difficulties retaining critical-skill employees
  • 67 per cent struggling to keep workers with high potential.

The demand for key talent is as strong as ever, in spite of challenging economic conditions and heightened global competition.

Many employers are not taking advantage of opportunities to attract, retain and engage key talent by offering a value proposition, work, environment and the total rewards programmes that are most important to them, Dhritiman Chakprabarti, Asia-Pacific leader of rewards at Towers Watson, said yesterday.

Employees continue to experience high levels of stress at work. Close to half or 45 per cent of Asia-Pacific respondents indicate that employees often experience excessive pressure on the job. This is slightly lower than the global average of 48 per cent.

Survey results in Thailand show that attracting top-performing employees is a difficult undertaking for employers, but retaining them is an even tougher task.

Pichpajee Saichuae, managing director of Tower Watson (Thailand) said that the two key factors in attracting and retaining good talent in Thailand are:

  1. competitive incentive packages
  2. opportunities for career advancement

The global survey covered 1,605 companies, of which 796 were from Asia and the Pacific.