In the post-pandemic world, organisations in Asia face geopolitical tensions, escalating inflation, industrial change and mass redundancies. While remote working has created a wider talent pool, companies are facing skills gaps and talent retention challenges, and are grappling with a rapidly accelerating digital economy and shifting employee expectations. People professionals are under constant pressure to reframe their strategies and help their organisations adapt to everchanging priorities.

Based on insights from people practitioners in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, this report offers a valuable snapshot of the talent landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. It explores how the profession has responded to external challenges, how people professionals perceive their career development and provides recommendations to help people leaders shape their talent strategies for the future.

Key findings

  • Organisations in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei are experiencing talent attraction and retention issues, with employees taking advantage of more competitive offerings externally. Cost pressures mean that people leaders are needing to find creative solutions to enhance the employee value proposition.
  • Senior leaders feel that changing business demands and employee expectations have taken their toll and burnout is a prevalent issue within people teams. Indeed, only 54% of our survey respondents said they were satisfied in their current job role. Companies are implementing strategies to promote better work-life balance and to upskill their people teams.
  • The prominence of mental health, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and talent retention issues has led to increased buy-in from business leaders for understanding people needs to support long-term performance. Because of this, the people profession has become more involved in strategic decision-making and perceptions of HR’s value and impact are growing.
  • Opportunities for learning and development are important for people professionals, with 75% of respondents saying they were keen to advance their careers. Upskilling, networking and HR certification are particularly valued by practitioners.
  • To deliver value in the future, people professionals must demonstrate strong business acumen alongside soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, conflict resolution and teamwork. To build organisational credibility, practitioners must adopt a growth mindset to enable effective culture and business transformation.

Recommendations for people leaders

  • Protect people practitioners’ mental health and wellbeing. This should be through a holistic approach of flexible working options, progression opportunities and setting clear boundaries between supporting the business and looking after their personal needs.
  • Increase people teams’ exposure to the wider organisation, allowing them to work collaboratively with other departments and get involved in business conversations so that they can demonstrate their strategic value.
  • Enable job mobility within and outside the people function to boost practitioners’ career development and skills. This could be through job rotations, secondments and skills-led recruitment strategies.
  • Upskill practitioners by offering online learning and on-the-job training, and support professional qualifications and certifications. To become future-fit, digital HR and enabling digital transformation will be key skills for people professionals, as well as building data analytics capabilities.
  • Build your professional network by fostering external relationships, joining professional communities and even seeking mentoring opportunities.

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HR talent trends: What's next for our senior leaders?

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HR talent trends: What's next for our senior leaders? Executive summary

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