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How to attract the right talent to grow your business internationally



Asian companies, including Filipino businesses, are growing in international status and changing the global business landscape. In fact, the region is home to more global giants than any other continent. In the latest Global Fortune 500 list, 40 percent of the companies named were Asian. 

This growth in influence has not peaked yet. Seventy percent of Asian companies surveyed by Robert Walters are planning to internationalise in the next three years. However, this progression in business comes with the challenges of securing the best people. 

According to the latest whitepaper titled ‘How to attract and retain the right talent to grow your business internationally’ launched today by specialist professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, the expansion of Asian businesses requires recruitment and retention of international talents. 

International Talents, as defined in the whitepaper, are home-grown or returning professionals who have worked for Western companies located in their home countries or overseas. These talents will help them increase their global footprint and keep them one step ahead of the competition in the international market. 

With this growing need, the whitepaper identified drivers for Asian companies that aspire to grow internationally. 

Build employer proposition

With more than 57 percent of professionals who are open to work for Asian companies, the challenge is how to motivate these passive candidates to become active candidates. The whitepaper identified the top motivators for talent attraction based on 5,000 HR professionals, hiring managers, and candidates working in Asian and Western companies. 68 percent of the candidates indicate pay and benefits as the top motivator while company’s growth potential comes next on the list.

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When designing job advertisements and carrying out interviews, make sure a competitive salary range and expansion strategies for the next five to 10 years are presented. If the company might not be able to offer opportunities to work overseas, it can focus on its strengths and career development opportunities that are available locally.

Provide training and career development programs

According to the Harvard Business Review, job seekers from entry-level to executives are more concerned about opportunities for learning and development than any other aspect of a prospective job.

The survey shows 56 percent of international talents left their job with an Asian company because they felt there was no opportunity for career progression. Given this, Asian companies must give employees and prospects a clear career progression path by providing variety of training opportunities. This may include job rotation program so that staff can gain a good overview of the business and the different skills that make it work.

Maintain and build unique company culture

As per retaining talents, the Robert Walters’ survey determined the most rewarding aspects among international talents working in an Asian business.

Cited by 62 percent, local company culture ranks first. International talents perceive that Asian companies are much better equipped in fostering and maintaining close relationships between staff at all levels than multinationals.

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Create a sociable workplace through company events and make corporate social responsibility part of the business purpose. Give the business a sociable feel with company events that bring people together.

Know the preferred recruitment channels

Furthermore, local companies must also know the preferred talent acquisition channels to effectively reach out to potential candidates. Robert Walters ranked different channels as per candidates’ preferences. 

In the whitepaper, although the top preferred channel among Asian companies is engaging a recruitment consultancy, it is important to note that seeking referrals from existing professional and personal networks is significantly higher at 27 percent compared to Western companies at only 7 percent. It is what known as the “face” concept in which the employee who makes the recommendation, and the person who takes up the post, feel an obligation to stay with the business, so long as one of them is still in the company.

Professionals who have both local and international experience are indeed valuable assets to Asian companies with global expansion plans and can be in high demand. Robert Walters continues to guide local businesses to secure future success to have robust recruitment and talent management strategies in place.

Priya Gupta, Manager of Banking & Financial Services for Robert Walters Philippines, said that with urban economic power shifting eastwards, Asian businesses as international players, including Filipino businesses, have a lot of potential to increase their international footprint. “Through this whitepaper, we aim to guide Filipino companies to overcome the challenges of attracting and retaining international talents who will greatly contribute to their business expansion outside the country.”

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