HR tech advancements saved many organisations during the pandemic and now, they continue to transform.
By Zee Johnson
Organisations across APAC are entering a restoration period. The International Money Fund’s World Economic Outlook says the region is expected to see a 6.2% economic growth, 1.4% higher than the U.S. and U.K. With this boost, businesses have been able to revitalize hiring, and if acquisition trends sustain, the long-awaited digital transformation can begin.
Southeast Asia is home to more than a third (35%) of the privately held start-up companies valued at over USD $1 billion. These organisations have created tech hubs in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, India, Singapore, and Malaysia. These successful companies have been able to vastly extend a country’s impact, creating thriving economies and lucrative industries. In Malaysia, for instance, The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) is creating a “Startup Development Roadmap” with the goal of producing five startups by 2025.
AeroDyne Group, a drone service provider, is a prime example. Through its financing agencies, Mosti has invested RM25 million into the company, establishing it as the world’s number one drone remote-sensing service provider.
Now more than ever, tech is critical for APAC’s advancement.
Mass hiring is underway in Southeast Asia and leaders are looking to fill technology rolls in AI, cyber security, analytics, and other up-and-coming technologies. Powerhouse companies like PwC and EY are looking to invest in the expansion of tech roles, namely in India.
Whilst historic tech advancements remain the focal point of post-pandemic hiring trends, it is also the common denominator in the areas most affecting HR.
To remain connected and constructive during the pandemic, some businesses relied on the digital processes their organisations already had in place whilst others overhauled their outdated, inefficient platforms or built them from ground up.
According to TeamLease, a staffing solutions company, the APAC region saw a 30% demand increase for HR-related technology services this year. Singapore, Southeast Asia’s investment hub, now has more companies in HR tech than ever before, according to the HR Tech Market Map. In India alone, between $200 and 250 million have been raised by HR tech companies since the beginning of this year. For instance, Darwinbox, a cloud-based HR Technology company based in India, also contributed to this capital by raising $15M USD in funding through Salesforce Ventures.
Talent Analytics Will be a Key Focus
In what looks to be the tail-end of the pandemic, HR is using new employee data to develop strategies that will allow for improved hiring, onboarding, and retention processes. Substantial HR tech investments, along with the implementation of technologies like AI, machine learning, and deep learning, are putting the HR function on track to undergo extraordinary transformations that support future business growth.
Some early implementers of said technology are now assigning leaders to recruit during this transition and these officials must provide clear-cut answers to questions surrounding data creation, data collection and data analytics. They must also develop successful initiatives that include many of Southeast Asia’s tight-knit and diverse communities, including those of varying complexities, economic maturity levels, and regional distinctions.
Gig Economy Will Return
In recent years, the number of gig workers in countries like Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia hit an all-time high—then the pandemic came, inducing mass unemployment across the sector. Early post-pandemic trends suggest that the demand for digital transformation and increased digital literacy will permit platforms like Grab in Singapore, Gojek in Indonesia, and Zomato in India to make a full recovery.
According to International Labour Organisation, there are 87.8% informal workers in Southeast Asia. Platforms like and similar to the aforementioned very often employ gig workers from the region’s sprawling informal sector. The return of a gig economy will help app-based, on-demand work to reach largely agricultural and manufacturing areas. In India alone, the gig sector could create as many as 90 million jobs.
Employers Will Have to Revamp their Brand
A recent Willis Towers Watson survey found that nine in 10 APAC employers believe an enhanced employee experience will be a top priority over the next several years. Prior to the pandemic, only 52% found it significant.
Deloitte’s Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey also found that the next generation of leaders have two priorities in mind: social change and accountability. To attract and subsequently retain these employees, organisations are crafting more inclusive and equal workplaces that also hone in on employee well-being.