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HR Goes Back to Basics in APAC, Reveals Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016


Talent management, recruitment and employee engagement identified as top three priorities.

This year represents a back to basics approach for the HR function, with talent management (61 per cent), employee engagement (60 per cent) and recruitment (58 per cent) at the top of the agenda globally. This is according to the sixth annual Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey, representing the views of over 1,250 HR leaders from more than 30 countries.

A significant shift in HR priorities has occurred over the last year.  The board is increasingly asking HR to focus on recruitment: up seven per cent in the past 12 months and leadership teams are managing their talent to ensure that the workforce is engaged, and therefore retained. Employee retention, training and motivation are all more important this year, demonstrating that companies are investing in and protecting their greatest asset – their people.

Specific APAC related findings include:
  • HR professionals in APAC are more troubled by recruitment challenges – 65 per cent expect recruitment challenges in the next two years, eight per cent more than the global average (57 per cent).  In Hong Kong this statistic increases to 68 per cent
  • HR professionals in APAC are more likely to source their workforce from overseas – 27 per cent expect to increase their use of talent sourced from overseas, more than any other region surveyed
  • APAC businesses are less likely to offer flexible working – with 16 per cent of respondents not offering any type of flexible work options, five per cent higher than the global average (11 per cent)
  • The majority of HR professionals in the region (90 per cent) are optimistic – believing their organisation provides effective environments for employees to develop their skills (seven percent above the global average of 83 per cent)
  • 56 per cent of HR professionals in the region have diversity programmes in place in their organisations – meanwhile 63 per cent across the APAC region are happy with how diversity is progressing.  In comparison, the Hong Kong related figures highlight that only 40 per cent of HR professional are satisfied with progress – aligning with the fact that diversity progress has stalled in the SAR.

Tanya Lau, Director of the Consumer & Retail Practice APAC, Harvey Nash Executive Search said:

“There is no doubt that boards see the people agenda as a key priority, however our survey results revealed that many CEOs are making important human capital decisions without the involvement of HR, because it is increasingly seen as an ‘engine room’ function. The economic outlook is uncertain and the Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016 highlights that HR is heading back to basics this year with a core focus on talent management, recruitment and employee engagement.  Despite this shift in priorities, over the six years we have conducted the Harvey Nash HR Survey, the HR function has become increasingly influential.”


Stuart has over 10 year’s experience in and around the recruitment industry, working his way up from a Production Editor to Director of Onrec.

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