Young, Skilled and Connected -


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Companies need to find new ways to attract and retain critical skills—and the original sources of ‘brain drain’ (i.e. migrant populations or diasporas) might just hold some of the answers.
Diasporas are young, educated and connected—just what organizations are looking for. But if organizations are to make the most of diversity they already embody, or the diversity that they hope to engage, change must surely follow.

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Young, Skilled and Connected -

  1. 1. young,skilled andconnectedHow migrant populations canimprove your access to talentAnthony Raja Devadoss
  2. 2. top 5 migrant destinations Russia Canada germany 10% of swiss citizens live outside U.S. switzerland The chinese diaspora Countries with numbers approx 1 million+ chinese: Indonesia 50 million Thailand The indian Malaysia saudi diaspora Singapore arabia numbers approx Philippines 30 million Among Vietnam japanese developing Burma countries, the United states migrants make Philippines had the up one quarter Canada the malaysian- highest number of of hawaii’s university-educated population born migrant population emigrants leaving its is approx shores (1,126,260 people) in The largest diaspora of 1 million 2000. swiss is in argentina of the entire australian migration program, skilled migrants comprise 60%Around one-thirdof all migrationrepresents ‘brain drain’for the home country. 2
  3. 3. We’re all experiencing ‘brain drain’A recent global PwC survey of 1,100 CEOs and business leaders revealed that they are strugglingto balance talent retention and cost reduction against a backdrop of economic deceleration.The numbers reveal that: ‘Brain drain’ is still a significant and pressing• Virtually all CEOs (97%) believe that the issue for countries in major migratory Why engage access to and retention of key talent is corridors, such as South-East Asia and with diasporas? critical or important to sustaining their Eastern Europe. However, it’s also a growth, yet 25% globally are looking to phenomenon that affects more companies 1 They’re young: the median age of the foreign population living in the EU was 34.4 reduce headcount. more often thanks to the mobility of the years in 2010, which is 7.1 years lower than the median age of nationals (41.5).• Over 60% of CEOs say they have world’s workforce, the ease of switching jobs, challenges recruiting and integrating and other large, global demographic shifts, 2 They’re skilled: in OECD countries the skill intensity of migration is around 70 percent. their millennial employees, and less such as the aging population. Many visa requirements ensure that migrant populations bring with them high levels of than one-third believe that they have a skills and experience. Significant diasporas also develop out of populations that settle comprehensive understanding of their Companies need to find new ways to after being educated by the host country’s tertiary education system, keeping critical employees’ views and needs. attract and retain critical skills—and the skills in-country. original sources of ‘brain drain’ (i.e. migrantIt is clear that companies are finding it populations or ‘diasporas’) might just hold 3 They’re connected: they have connections in their home country, which can be usedmore difficult to attract and retain the right some of the answers. by corporates looking to expand into new markets.workforce. In a sense, the old conceptof ‘brain drain’ that referred to skilled Actively engaging with diasporas offers veryworkers leaving their home country to specific advantages over other strategies forpursue lucrative opportunities elsewhere skill now something far more common, evenfor companies operating amid favourableeconomic conditions. 3
  4. 4. They’re youngFertility rates in all developed economies is now below replacementrate and the downward trend is spreading far and wide.In Asia-Pacific, for example, the number of In light of these sobering statistics,people aged 65 and older is estimated to companies should look to migrant diasporas how to attract and retain theincrease threefold—from 420 million in 2010 with particular interest. If we are all going youthful workforces of diasporasto almost 1.3 billion by 2050. This increase to be clamoring for a shrinking pool of Rethink the way you promote: millennials look for new opportunities forwill mean people of non-working-age will young talent, and migrant diasporas are a development and development more than they look for hierarchical advancement.constitute almost 25% of the total regional key source of this resource, companies will They want a challenge and they want to test new technology and the latest ideas.population in less than 40 years’. In a part have to get used to accommodating theof the world that is experiencing dramatic ‘millennial mindset’—and particularly that of B e more flexible: they expect (don’t just want) workplace flexibility, and to beeconomic growth, this poses a real problem educated, migrant youth. measured on what they achieve as opposed to the hours they work.for companies that need skilled workers. Generation Y sees global experience as a Have a real dialogue with staff: they expect (don’t just want) to be heard and toUnfortunately, many of the countries with positive differentiator in job selection and contribute in meaningful ways. If they see things that don’t fit with their values,growing populations do not have the promotion—and this is just one reason they’ll want you to know about it.educational infrastructure to develop the why they make up a larger proportion ofvolume of skilled labor to make up for the migrant diasporas. Gen Y also brings new A genuine appreciation for diversity: to attract the youthful, highly skilled workersshortfall in industrialized countries. Africa’s approaches to the issue of ethics and social of migrant diasporas globally, corporates need to embrace diverse ways of thinkingpopulation remains youthful and largely responsibility in the workplace. They want and of acting.unchanged in age distribution since 1990, to work for companies that demonstrateyet its education infrastructure cannot fill the transparency and engagement with thetalent gap widening over the next decades. community at large. 4
  5. 5. They’re skilledWe have already entered a long-term phase of competing fiercely for certain skills.The World Bank’s research into the whereas in Indonesia it takes just 1.6 weeks.investment climate shows that for some 40% When competitive advantage is hard to build to Tap into migrant diasporas,of firms, skills shortages are a top investment and even harder to maintain, differences like companies must:obstacle. Regardless of the region where the these really matter. Know their talent supply chain: do you know how long your cycle times for criticalfirm operates, the size of its operations, its Skills shortages are the single greatest skill sets are? Where are the bottlenecks in supply? Do you have access to sourcesexport orientation, its ownership structure influence on migratory behavior and the of the right talent at the right price?or the industry it belongs to, the concernabout their access to critical skills remains formation of diasporas. In fact, the Malaysia Consider moving the work, not the worker: consider ways to access critical remarkably high. Economic Monitor shows that of the top skills where they are more plentiful, including offering more flexible work three reasons people move from their assignments and projects.Worldwide education and training country of birth, two are money and/orinfrastructure has failed to deliver the volume career oriented: Be specific and targeted in your hiring campaigns: campaigns can successfullyof skilled talent required in fields such as IT, 1. Career prospects target expatriates and entice them to return to their home country for specific,healthcare, engineering and science. These 2. Compensation high-profile projects. Once you know who has the skills you need and where theyshortages are only becoming more acute, 3. Social justice are, you can find specific messages that will be relevant and attractive to them.and in some locations firms are forced tooperate without critical skills for long periods We know that migrant diasporas typicallybecause they simply cannot obtain them. have a higher concentration of skills and education than native populations, and For example, it currently takes 5.4 weeks that compensation is one of the key to find a qualified technician in Malaysia, reasons for migration. 5
  6. 6. time required to fill vacancies Number Number Time required to fill a vacancyof weeks of weeks for skilled technician (LHS)10 14 Standard deviation of time required (RHS) 128 Years after country names denote survey period. 10 Source: World Bank’s global investment climate survey database6 8 64 42 20 0 Brazil 2003 Malaysia 2007 Thailand 2007 Ireland 2005 Germany 2005 Korea 2005 India 2002 Russia 2005 Indonesia 2003 6
  7. 7. They’re connectedFor the countries they leave, and the places they go to, the impact of diasporas ismeasurable. The flow of information, money, goods and ideas—between diasporasand their home country networks—influences change in both places.Not only do diasporas increase the exchangeof goods and knowledge between countries, To leverage the full value of athey significantly contribute to facilitating diverse workforce, companies must:new relationships across borders—and Reconsider the way project teams for new ventures are assembled: lifeconnections are what businesses entering experience of project team members may be just as critical to the success of a new markets often lack. new venture as education and training.A Harvard Business School study shows that Listen to what diversity is telling you: given the still largely homogeneous natureAmerican companies that employ significant of most leadership teams, and the skewed demographics of specific roles withinnumbers of ethnic Chinese find it much every organization, providing ways for alternative views to be heard is critical.easier to set up in China without a jointventure with a local firm. 7
  8. 8. conclusionIn many ways, the old idea of ‘brain drain’ right, skilled migrants will move and settle inhas new meaning—thanks to the mobility new locations, bringing their skills and otherof the world’s workforce, and unstoppable significant benefits with them, including newglobal demographic shifts, the right skills are ideas and harder to find and even harder to keep. Diasporas are young, educated andCompanies need to find new ways to connected—just what organizations areattract and retain critical skills—and the looking for. But if organizations are to makeoriginal sources of ‘brain drain’ (i.e. migrant the most of diversity they already embody,populations or diasporas) might just hold or the diversity that they hope to engage,some of the answers. When conditions are change must surely follow.References• ttp:// h• ttp:// h• ttp:// h• ttp:// h• he magic of diasporas, The Economist, October 2011 T• igration and Remittances Factbook 2011, 2nd Edition by: Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, Ani Silwal: http://publications. M• ttp://,,contentMDK:20946758~menuPK:1727232~pageP h K:64156158~piPK:64152884~theSitePK:461198,00.html 8
  9. 9. About the AuthorAnthony Raja Devadoss is currently the Vice President—APAC with the Outsourcing & ConsultingGroup of Kelly Services. From network services, engineering to e-business solutions, Anthony Raja hasworked in both India and Malaysia, within technical roles to the Chief Executive Officer. He has receivedhis Bachelors degree in Science and his MBA in Marketing & Postgraduate Diploma in Computing. Heholds membership in various local and international associations such as the MIM, Human Capital Institute& Association of Career Professionals International. He is the Head of Policy Enablement & GovernmentLiaison with Outsourcing Malaysia and a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Business,UNIRAZAK. He has been recently appointed to the HR Capacity Building task force by the Ministry of Human Resources,Govt of Malaysia. Anthony is also a member of the HROA APAC Chapter Board. KellyKelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array ofoutsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Servingclients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2011 was $5.6 billion.Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter. EXITKelly Global Workforce Index™