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The Difficulties for Tech Start-Ups Hiring Talent in Asia

26 January 2017

by Gemma Foley

Cutting-edge mobile applications… innovative FinTech products… burgeoning E-commerce empires… when it comes to tech, Asia-Pacific is by far the world’s most advanced market. And it’s only natural to see budding entrepreneurs choosing China – recently termed the ‘number one country in the world for tech start-ups’ – as an ideal place to set-up shop. Strategically positioned as the gateway into China, Hong Kong remains a top choice for those with entrepreneurial flair. Yet discussion in the marketplace has revealed a surprising truth: new tech companies are experiencing a variety of HR-related setbacks. Oliver James Hong Kong has drawn on its extensive experience in this sector, and discussions with clients on the frontline, to identify the key employment difficulties faced by tech start-ups today.

One of the main issues affecting tech start-ups is competition for talent. While there are plenty of roles, there is a shortage of adequately qualified people. This creates a disproportionate ratio of candidates to companies, where multiple businesses are left vying for a single applicant. Equally, it’s not simply a case of enticing talent, but really engaging with it. Poor interview processes have become a hindrance to recruitment for tech start-ups all over APAC. In short, they’re attracting the right candidates, but losing them by failing to sell their company, track and test competencies, or show enough urgency to place.

Another problem for start-ups is their lack of market presence. Building a brand doesn’t just take time and money, it takes the courage to pitch your opportunities as superior to those of household names like Tencent, Alibaba and Taiwan Semiconductor. Brand awareness ties into job stability too, where confidence in an employer is inextricably linked to the employer’s market share. After all, in a sector where candidates hold the cards, why stake your career on an unknown start-up over an established global brand?

Finally, there’s the matter of office location; the right company in the wrong place can lead to offer rejection. The tech industry thrives on a collective sense of modernity and belonging, so it’s important for an employer to select a locale where inspiration can be found at any turn, in any one. Businesses that prize value in the outskirts over vision in the hub miss out on candidates before they’ve even walked through the door.

If you need guidance on attracting and retaining top-tier talent, please contact Oliver James HK on +852 5804 9070 for a no-obligation consultation.  

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