a third (35 per cent) of companies across the Asia Pacific region are expecting their workforce to grow by an incredible six per cent or more this year, according to the latest APAC Employment Screening Benchmark Report
from HireRight, a leading provider of global background checks.
The annual report, which is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in the industry, polled more than 6,000 human resources (HR) professionals this year, including over 450 in APAC. It revealed that overall, 77 per cent of organisations in the region were looking to bolster their teams with increased hiring. Interestingly, the survey also revealed a significant decrease in organisational dependency on contingent workers compared to the previous report’s findings—almost half (47 per cent) of companies had less than 10 per cent of their workforce made up of non-employees. This suggests that planned recruitment drives in 2018 may focus on permanent positions.
With confidence running high, it is perhaps no surprise that HR managers are prioritising employee experiences in 2018 to ensure they can retain the best talent. Almost half (49 per cent) of APAC employers surveyed indicated a desire to create a positive corporate culture, an increase of 10 per cent from 2017. Forty-six per cent of respondents are focussed on improving employee training programmes, a four per cent gain, and 48 per cent on developing leaders within their organisations, also up 10 per cent from the previous year.
The report also highlights a renewed focus on candidate experience, with 39 per cent of organisations indicating that they were planning to improve the candidate journey holistically from application through to onboarding—a significant increase from 26 per cent in 2017.
However, with ambitious growth comes increased risk. According to the 2018 Report, three quarters (74 per cent) of APAC employers have uncovered issues with job candidates through background screening that would have otherwise gone unnoticed by their organisation. This represents a four per cent increase from last year. The most common discrepancies were found in previous employment records (74 per cent), educational credentials (48 per cent), and criminal histories (33 per cent).
Managing Director of EMEA and APAC at HireRight Mr Steve Girdler says: “Amid the positive hiring outlook for the year ahead, enhancing the employee experience continues to be a key focus for HR professionals in APAC. From the candidate journey, to onboarding and employee management, organisations are recognising that they have to put people at the centre of everything they do.”
He adds: “Background screening can play an essential (and perhaps often overlooked) role in augmenting an organisation’s candidate and employee experience. On one hand, ensuring a seamless and convenient screening experience will help position brands positively in the eyes of potential hires. At the same time, a robust and consistent approach to screening and re-screening for existing employees regardless of seniority or nationality will help build a safer and fairer working environment for all.”
The 2018 benchmark report also exposed several key trends:
• A continued lack of consistency in screening standards for senior executives.
o Over a third (37 per cent) of respondents admitted that their organisation had different standards of screening for executives.
o 34 per cent also said senior-level candidates had to go through fewer tests and interviews as compared to entry level hires.
• The gap in international screening of candidates.
o Only 41 per cent of organisations in the region conduct checks on international hires—down from 48 per cent the year before.
o This could be due to the pain points faced by HR departments in screening candidates outside of their home country with a third (33 per cent) citing difficulties in sourcing information, and 30 per cent perplexed by different country regulations around screening.
• Re-screening existing employees is gaining traction across APAC.
o 56 per cent of organisations conducted some form of re-screening post-hire in 2017, compared to 43 per cent the previous year.
o Employees who were promoted or changing roles represented the largest group (37 per cent), while there was also a significant increase in organisations screening contingent and contract workers (21 per cent) —up from only nine per cent in 2017.