How to develop your HR career in APAC

Written by
Changeboard Team

10 Dec 2014

10 Dec 2014 • by Changeboard Team


The HR community has often discussed the challenges facing the profession when it comes to talent management, attraction and retention in the Asia Pacific region, but we can’t forget that HR professionals themselves also need to build their profile in order to be recognised as top talent in the area. But in such a competitive market, how can you make your mark and stand out from the crowd?

A crowded marketplace?

The APAC region is an increasingly desirable destination for businesses worldwide, with many international players setting up shop in some of the central cities. As more organisations battle to succeed in the area, the war for talent is heating up, with many organisations looking at their employer brand offering to ensure they attract the right people for the right roles. However, this in turn is driving demand for HR professionals with international experience to manage talent attraction and retention.

In order to really succeed individuals need to be able to stand out in an increasingly populated HR market. And as the Asia Pacific region is quite a hard business arena to crack, there are a few things which you need to bear in mind to ensure you are seen as top HR talent.

Develop your personal brand

Firstly, it’s important to consider the people challenges facing organisations in the region and be clear on what companies are looking for from their HR professional. For example, the majority of HR leadership roles cover the entire or an element of the region, so skills such as international leadership capability and the ability to understand complex, diverse environment, will be a huge benefit. 

Demonstrating practical solutions and credible suggestions on ways to address the key talent challenges in APAC – such as talent retention – will help individuals stand out to business leaders. Communicating the importance of strategic workforce planning, talent pipelining and developing high potentials will help position you as an individual who will be able to impact bottom line figures, staff turnover and productivity – all key attributes of top HR talent in the region.

I’d also recommend you distill your professional proposition. Be clear about what makes you different and relevant and find a way of articulating it in an engaging manner. Make sure you have a voice in the HR arena locally and that it is synonymous with how you want your personal brand to be perceived. Once you’ve refined this, use it to optimise your reputation. Make sure that whatever great work you have done is known and debated by as many contacts as possible.

Make the most of your contacts

Finally, make the most of and generate as many relevant connections and relationships as possible. In a culture where business has historically been focused on personal connections, relationships are perhaps even more important in Asia than any other global location, especially in China, so make sure you build your network. Liaising with like-minded professionals, attending relevant events and having a voice in key debates can significantly raise your profile in the region and will help grow your local network if connections are limited. Activating your personal and corporate profile and expertise across emerging channels – especially digital – can also really help achieve this.

Undoubtedly the Asia Pacific region will continue to grow and with it will come more opportunities for HR professionals to really make their mark in the talent arena. However, with increasing competition and rising expectations of business owners, it’s vital that you build their personal brand and equip yourself with the right tools to really succeed.