There is a talent shortage in Asia Pacific countries. The region is heading towards a deficit of 12.3 million workers by 2020, according to a recent study on global talent by strategic consulting firm Korn Ferry. By 2030, this figure is likely to rise to 47 million, representing lost revenue of USD 4.2 trillion per year.

Learning how to navigate this labour crisis could mean the difference between financial success or commercial ruin. The shortage of labour in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam relates to a mismatch in supply and demand.

The workers that are available lack the necessary skills and experience that organisations need. This is a result of technological, economic and educational gaps in the current labour market.

So what is the solution?

To future-proof their businesses against this labour crisis, executives need to address  how to identify quality candidates, how to retain and develop existing talent and how to streamline productivity and performance.

Andrew Chan, general manager Asia of TMS Asia Pacific travel and hospitality recruitment company, has indicated that finding the perfect candidate can take several months, forcing companies to rethink their selection criteria

“ManpowerGroup recommends that companies should focus more on optimising existing talent”

Optimise existing talent

Due to the pressure to replace key positions quickly, companies can sometimes find themselves paying a premium to fill jobs with low-skilled workers. Inflating salaries without a related increase in productivity does not lead to business success.

In their 2018 Talent Shortage Survey, ManpowerGroup recommends that companies should focus more on optimising existing talent. In the travel and tourism sector in particular, developing a leadership pipeline is important. Creating a clear path of succession from frontline, entry level roles to upper management positions ensures that good talent stays within the company and is nurtured to its full potential.

Consider a review of your training and development programs to provide employees with the tools they need to reach each stepping stone in their path to success.

Balance the right technology

Finding the right balance between people and technology is key. While smart devices and mobile apps can help reduce the need for guest-staff interaction as customers now have up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips, people are still the face of the brand.

People skills are still very much an important factor for service industries as guests’ opinions of the brand are shaped by interactions with staff. A positive and attentive service agent has the power to win over a customer, more so than any computer.

Use automated systems and IT to reduce the need for human labour wherever possible, and shift your HR focus to developing a strong team of frontline employees.

Embrace diversity

Tap into new talent by widening the selection pool. Consider the benefits that can be gained from introducing older staff or foreign workers into the team. Alternatively, companies could also consider leveraging a contingent workforce, including management consultants or freelancers who can supply specialist knowledge or skills when needed.

Do you have a current talent shortage in your company? Post your job for free now at TD Jobs.


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