THE CHALLENGES, THE CURRENT MARKET, HOW BEST TO SUCCEED IN OVERCOMING YOUR TALENT MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS AND WHY RSI INTERNATIONAL ASIA?
Myanmar’s age of isolation has finished and many foreign investors and multinationals are opening as well as expanding their businesses in order to capitalise on the tremendous growth potential.
Myanmar’s economy grew at 8.5 percent in real terms in 2014/15 but growth is projected to moderate to 6.5 percent in 2015/16 due to floods and slowing investments. Economic reforms have supported consumer and investor confidence despite ongoing business environment and socio-economic issues
Medium-term economic growth prospects remain strong assuming continued progress on reforms and the recent election outcome.
A World Bank report on ease of doing business in Myanmar, rates the country at 182 out of a total of 188 countries studied. It takes an average 75 days to start a business in Myanmar, according to a report released by Frost and Sullivan. Thriving in uncertainty, and operating in frontier markets, go hand in hand, with the risk of not finding that elusive, qualified talent. This is true not just of Myanmar but, is quite a global phenomenon and businesses are hard pressed to search for that “global talent”.
THE RECRUITMENT MARKET AND ITS CHALLENGES
- Based on recent employer’s surveys by Mercer, almost 50% of the companies mentioned that their current hiring activity is stronger, as compared with the last 12-24 months.
- 19% said it was stronger and over 50% said they currently face skills shortage and envisage this trend to continue for next 24 months.
- Of all the companies surveyed, 47% said the skills shortage will cause salaries to rise above the inflation rate. As a result of increased demand and short supply, 4 out of 10 companies believe salaries will increase significantly.
- As an effect of the skills shortage on business in Myanmar, over the next 12-24 months, 48% companies would need to develop more targeted attraction strategies and 27% said they will source talent from abroad.
- As the talent market becomes tight, employers are pressured to offer competitive remuneration packages in the hope of attracting and keeping desirable talents that propel the business. Myanmar continues to offer an attractive location for companies establishing offices to take advantage of the recent opening of the market and first mover advantage; as a consequence businesses must find new ways to attract and retain top talent.
2) Current business environment
Myanmar is shaking off its shackles, focusing on the future and booming. The international business world is descending on Myanmar, as it is one of the last white spaces, and is hungry to capitalise on the desire of 55 million people who rightfully believe their time has come.
Setting up business in Myanmar is not for the faint hearted. It has many challenges:-
- Very difficult to find, develop and retain Burmese talent.
- Myanmar’s underinvestment in education, its isolation and the brain drain of Burmese talent to other part of the world has created a super storm, almost wiping out the availability of Burmese talent capable of running an international business.
- This high demand and low supply of talent has created a “talent gold rush” where new entrants are going all out to spot talent and are trying to lure them away from existing companies.
- Existing businesses are introducing all kinds of golden handcuffs in order to retain their staff.
- The few Burmese who are lucky enough to have the required skill set, fare well by this situation, as their salaries are destined to significantly multiply over the next few years
- The ever-increasing salary spiral for the happy few is not a solution for Myanmar and those companies that are trying to build a successful and sustainable business.
For companies to succeed and for the government to ensure the economic boom trickles down to other parts of the society, both need to design a creative and holistic talent strategy. This strategy should combine casting the recruitment net wide and far, an all-out effort to bring people up the skill curve in the shortest possible time and creating a heartfelt connection that binds people with the company.
3) Companies operating in Myanmar have considerable recruitment challenges
- Competitive offer is the most important factor in determining whether an employee will choose to stay or leave a company. 6 out of 10 employees surveyed in Myanmar had their salaries increased over the last 12 months and employee retention is a serious issue.
- There are currently no international professional recruitment /search companies in the Myanmar market. There are a couple of local companies that have been around for years but are not seasoned international recruiters. Those companies that do operate, do so, on a contingent recruitment module, have very limited recruiting experience and in most cases, they are not a legal entity for recruitment and work simply as a consultancy.
- A lot of companies use internet job boards in Myanmar. This mode of securing exemplary talent is popular but very rarely successful (less than 11% success rate).
- The companies operating in Myanmar and some small agencies operating out of Singapore and Thailand adopt an unprofessional contingent shortened version of recruitment and offer only 2 or 3 month guarantees on employee placements.
- The successful recruitment companies that prevail in Myanmar will be those that make the achievements of the country and its people their success. That success needs to be earned “inch-by-inch” by really understanding the talent market, doing detailed due diligence on the talent requirements of employers, understanding the candidate market and more importantly providing a highly professional service ensuring that employers are given the very best candidates in the market.
- In the recruitment sector, there are no real competitors and clients have been taking the option that gets new hires at the most cost competitive recruitment option (contingent and cheap), getting them more quickly but not necessarily the best for the job. As a result, companies lose many of their key management. This is all rationalising now as clients are looking to get the best person for the job and not have 3 or 4 companies looking through their databases in the hope that they may be lucky.
4) Key Sectors that are in real need of recruitment expertise include:
- Commercial conglomerates
- Finance & Banking
- Infrastructure projects
- Oil & Gas
- Energy Companies
- Supply Chain, Logistics and Transportation
5) Employer Branding
Aside from the need to offer very competitive packages, companies are also under pressure to establish an appealing employer brand and they have to be more competitive in offering benefits such as work-life balance, flexible working options and providing robust training and career development programs. The seven popular tools enumerated by all employers are recognition and rewards, structured career progression, training and mentoring partnerships, strong company culture, company branding, and international opportunities. As the labour supply becomes thin, enterprises in the new Myanmar need to hunt for that elusive talent, which seems everywhere but is actually nowhere.
A strong grasp of local and foreign markets is being rated as the top skill, most sought after by recruiters. According to a survey conducted recently, companies in some sectors, have ramped up salaries significantly and sufficiently to attract the talented Myanmar diaspora. Job fairs being held by Myanmar recruitment firms in places like Singapore, are truly indicative of the signs of these times. Myanmar is expanding and businesses are working towards establishing a national presence and the secret to their success and getting a head start is completely dependent on the work force they are able to employ.
Skilled candidates possessing local and regional knowledge along with the requisite experience, who can hit the ground running and add value for their employers are the most sought after. Such candidates can expect to get a 20-25% increase when they switch jobs. The focus on hiring local Myanmar talent is likely to continue, for the present. International businesses will continue to scout around for ‘global’ talent in the human resource market and Myanmar job seekers stand to gain.
There is a strong preference for local talent, which is part driven by local companies and by companies looking to ensure that employees have the local knowledge needed to step into a new role with confidence.
There is a significant shortage of skilled labour and a huge need for human resources, resulting in a highly competitive hiring market. Private sector representatives from multinational companies are investing heavily in human capital development and training, several of them saying they are hiring first for attitude and then training up on skills, English language and basic IT skills being the most in need.
WHY RSI INTERNATIONAL ASIA?
We have proven methodologies;
- Sourcing; we leverage on a very extensive resource network that includes industry research, internal research teams, candidate databases, industry information, competition, and Internet tools to help us to identify the target market. We consult with the hiring manager to see if they have preferences. For example, if they want to consider candidates currently employed by competitors; indeed, some clients even provide us with a list of companies that they want us to approach.
- Screening; we are very experienced in qualifying potential candidates after conducting a number of telephone and face-to-face interviews.
- Interviewing; we present you with a short list of the best candidates for face-to-face interviews. These candidates will have already been thoroughly assessed and interviewed .We send all clients very detailed interview notes.
- Evaluation and selection; follow-up communication is critical to a solid relationship with our clients. We have exceptionally strong partnerships with our clients and have open feedback such as competitiveness of their salary structure, incentive programs, market share within a certain geographic area, new competitors and market perception, etc.
- We have an in-depth understanding of the Myanmar recruitment landscape.
- We have successfully placed more than 15 management professionals in Myanmar over the past 15 months.
- We are well connected in the Myanmar market place and have a good database of repatriates in country and in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We also have a strong base of local experienced managers and expatriates.
- 85% of our clients are multinationals, with more than 60 % of them being Fortune 500
- Repeat assignments from more than 50% of our clients
- Over 90% success rate with candidate placements and testimonials from various clients and candidates
- Successful candidate placements in more than 7 countries across South East Asia
- Combined business knowledge of over 70 years across industry sectors
CAN WE ASSIST YOU?