There is some uncertainty washing over Indonesia and most of Asia. Debate surrounds the country’s political scene and globally, a sluggish economic climate and the threat of protectionist US trade policies are causing plenty of concern.
I’ve had many clients ask me what 2017 holds for Indonesia’s job market. Overall our summary would be one of optimism. One trend that we have observed is the increasing demand for returning Indonesian talent — valued for their international experience and sensitivity to local culture — as employers try to stay ahead of a talent-short market.
More than half of the companies surveyed (58%) for the Michael Page 2017 Salary and Employment Outlook have employed returning Indonesians over the past year. This number is expected to increase.
In general, despite being cautious, companies in Indonesia are confident about moving forward due in part to stronger commitment towards infrastructure spending and general positivity surrounding the country.
Hiring activity will also be buoyed by a higher level of interest in Indonesia from businesses looking to establish operations in the country or invest in it. For many companies, having a presence in Indonesia has progressed from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Already, 53% of companies surveyed for the Michael Page 2017 Indonesia Salary and Employment Outlook are planning to increase headcount in 2017, higher than the Asia average of 44%.
The country’s real estate sector is also growing, bolstered in part by mainland Chinese firms’ land investments. The e-commerce sector is another bright spot experiencing continued growth both from major players as well as a steady flow of start-ups.
Generally, the demand for qualified candidates across various industries is healthy, with 60% of companies actively looking for middle-management staff.
However, this has presented serious challenges where hiring is concerned: in many sectors, talent is thinly spread. Candidates switch jobs frequently, often before they have completed projects they were hired to work on. Competition for qualified talent is fierce, as companies often seek candidates with similar expertise, and want to compare several candidates before making hiring decisions.
In the digital sector, hiring is no easier. Employers face a dearth of creative talent, marketing, public relations and e-commerce professionals. This is due to the large number of e-commerce firms rapidly expanding in Indonesia, who are hitting the market hard and fast with large human capital requirements.
Furthermore, the fact that businesses demand local Indonesian talent gives little relief to an already tight hiring market. The ability to attract overseas Indonesians back to the country will help alleviate this challenge and companies with strong employer brands have a definite advantage.
To find out more insights into Asia’s employment climate, download the 2017 Indonesia Michael Page Salary and Employment Outlook.