1 in 2 hiring managers in Asia ‘reluctant to evolve’ their strategies

Most still hire for ‘experience’ – not ‘potential’

1 in 2 hiring managers in Asia ‘reluctant to evolve’ their strategies

Close to half of hiring managers in Asia remain reluctant to evolve their recruitment strategies.

Most still stick to the tactic of hiring based solely on experience, despite the resources required to recruit, evaluate and subsequently manage employees who are not a good fit.

This, despite evidence that a whopping 94% of candidates hired for ‘potential’, instead of credentials, have been retained in their jobs.

READ MORE: Alarming rate of Singapore bosses hire wrongly

Bad hires in Singapore: Costly and time-consuming affair

In Singapore, companies found it time consuming and challenging to identify quality hires, and those who hire for potential were well rewarded, according to Robert Walters’s latest report.

Over 65% of companies took two months or more to fill a position. For those who hired high potential candidates, 96% proved to be quality hires.

Hiring managers who have not hired a candidate based on potential were mostly unable to find the right opportunity (38%), although nearly one in 10 were not keen to consider the option at all.

Regardless, one in three new employees still turned out to be a bad hire. Over half (47%) of hiring managers shared that the process of recognising a low-quality hire and mutually addressing the situation can take as long as three months to more than a year.

And faced with a shrinking pool of talent with in-demand skillsets, hiring managers continue to place the following as top criteria:

  • Having relevant experience (64%)
  • Candidate’s ability to learn quickly (57%)
  • Soft skills exhibited (48%)
  • Alignment with company culture (44%)

Having relevant experience, while commonly viewed as important at the recruitment stage, proved to be less of a deciding factor in measuring the quality of hire.

Top reasons cited for determining a bad hire include:

  • Failure to deliver satisfactory work (31%)
  • Less-than-desired work attitude (23%)
  • Inability to adapt to the company’s culture (20%).

Only 8% of managers said a hire didn’t work out due to lack of relevant skills, knowledge or expertise.

READ MORE: How to measure the true cost of a bad hire

This is why Ling Xiang Lee, manager of sales and marketing at Robert Walters emphasised the merits of hiring for potential, over experience.

“Candidates who show strong potential may lack some of the job requirements, skillsets, industry knowledge or experience within a role, but demonstrate a positive learning attitude and aptitude, and fits well with your team,” Lee said.

“By hiring by potential and providing them with the support and training to grow, businesses will find that in the long run, they gain employees who are not only skilled, but also loyal, resourceful and motivated.”

Several successful hiring managers shared some tips on recognising high potential candidates at the recruitment stage.

They typically look out top traits such as for a willingness to learn, motivation to take up the job and succeed in the role, as well as engagement – a perceived level of enthusiasm and dedication towards the job.

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