Rise of the local talent

Is there still room for foreign talent in Asia?

I recently had a morning coffee catch up with our APAC Marketing head, Gemma Sullivan, to discuss how marketing can help me with my business objectives for Carter Murray Singapore. Sharing with her the objectives and challenges I face, I remembered something I quoted in one of the market studies I did late last year – that in the near future, the local pool of talent will sufficiently supply talent market needs across industries. What has become apparent to me is that, the near future I was referring to, is actually now.

In the last two years, on average, 8 out of 10 jobs I have worked on required or strongly preferred candidates offering offshore experience, mainly from the UK or Australia. In the last six months however, 80% of the candidates I have placed were locals. These were for similar jobs, half of which I had previously filled with marketing professionals from overseas. This is of course partly due to the tight visa regulations that Asian countries are imposing but, the real matter at hand is that the local talent have risen rapidly from a skill and experience point of view. Across a variety of sectors, junior to mid-management candidates are now stepping up to management and senior management roles.

So the question remains, is there still room for foreign talent in Asia? As much as I am delighted to witness this talent evolution first hand and see local talent rise, there is no detracting from the fact that the world has globalized and there will always be a need for multicultural skills and talent. The answer then is pretty obvious, which I think we all would agree with.

So the more pressing question is; how can foreign talent find work in the Asia market?

Some of the most common advice on this is to pursue internal mobility opportunities, take on secondment roles for on the ground Asia market exposure, work with local market recruiting experts and just actively get online and click those apply buttons. My colleague, Theresa Pang, wrote a detailed article on The Singapore In-house Market for Overseas Lawyers: What can you do to make the move? which I think is relevant no matter what industry you are in. What I would like to highlight on top of this is – be relevant. If you are in another part of the world wanting a move to Asia, what are you doing to compete with local talent and put up a good business case to land that job?

At Carter Murray, we pride ourselves in working together. Our teams across international offices connect and collaborate enabling us to deliver international opportunities to our candidates. I can help you with your international move, but first ask yourself - what Asia market relevant experience do you have? Asia or not, the market is ever evolving and highly competitive, how relevant are your skills?