Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study identified four trends leading companies are pursuing in 2019: Aligning Work to Future Value, Building Brand Resonance, Curating the Work Experience, and Delivering Talent-led Change. In Asia, change is underway but significant human capital risks exist including managing the skills gap. And while executives are focusing on making their organizations “future-fit”, only one in three executives rate their company’s ability to mitigate human capital risks as very effective.


Aligning Work to Future Value. Executives in Asia predict that more than one in five jobs in their organization will cease to exist in the next few years. However; less than half of HR leaders are mapping the future skills needed in their organization. A key challenge for HR is to leverage the right talent analytics to inform decisions on the future size and shape of the organization. Only 40% of companies in Asia are currently using analytics to inform their build, buy, borrow or bot strategies.


“There’s an ongoing trend that experienced employees in Malaysia are moving across the globe to seek opportunities outside Malaysia and the risk here is that companies experience a greater talent shortage. In response, the government is encouraging initiatives to address this challenge,” said Prashant Chadha, CEO, Mercer Malaysia.


“But organizations have a significant opportunity with the new generation of workers who are motivated to learn diverse skills and many of whom are keen to build their future in Malaysia. The question is how quickly can companies provide reskilling for certain new roles to maximize this opportunity. At the same time a lot of companies are investing and expanding their operations in Malaysia which is creating new types of roles.”


Building Brand Resonance. What matters to employees and job seekers is the way a company conducts business and upholds the values of its brand. In a social, transparent world, the lines are blurring between a company’s consumer brand and its talent value proposition (TVP). Successful companies ensure that their brand resonates with all workforce segments. In Asia, thriving employees are three times more likely to work for a company that supports flexible working and are seven times more likely to work for a company that ensures equity in pay/promotion decisions.


Curating the Work Experience. An effective and relevant day-to-day work experience is essential for retaining top talent. According to Mercer’s study 94% of HR teams in Asia are investing in technology designed to improve the employee experience. Despite this only 28% of employees say their company really understands their unique skills and interests.


“With the new national priorities on building Indonesia 4.0, there’s an opportunity for organizations to build compelling and digital work experiences to respond to the changing needs of Indonesia’s young and mobile workforce,” said Astrid Suryapranata, Career Business Leader for Mercer Indonesia.


“The key to success for organizations in creating these employee experiences will be in careful change management and integrating new technologies seamlessly,” she said.


Delivering Talent-led Change. To ensure talent is at the center of change, HR should have a voice in business transformation. And HR should be focused on inspiring a growth mindset by redesigning structures, systems and workflows through digitalization. But there is a long way to go as this year’s study found only 16% of organizations in Asia offer employees a fully digital experience. This is significant given that organizations further along their digital journey are three times more likely to see HR as a significant contributor to the business.


“The future of work is about connectivity, creating a work environment that appeals to today’s workforce by building a coherent sense of identity, sparking connections, and using data to personalize the experience,” said Kate Bravery, Career Global Solutions Leader at Mercer.


Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study shares insights from over 7,300 senior business executives, HR leaders, and employees from nine key industries and 16 geographies around the world.


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