Hiring in India and APAC with Sreejith Pilassery

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In our recent episode of the 10-Minute Talent Show, Justin talks with our Regional VP for Asia-Pacific (APAC) Sreejith Pilassery. They discuss Sreejith’s 5 years with Horizontal Talent, his background, the APAC job market, what staffing is like in APAC and the future of staffing.

What is your background in the staffing world?

Like many of us, staffing happened to me by chance. When people graduate, they don’t usually think of staffing as a career option, at least in India. But after 18 years of building staffing services across different countries and markets, I could not be more optimistic about the industry and the ever-growing possibilities.

What is staffing like in India?

Staffing is still an emerging market in India. The majority of the population looks for government jobs, not roles in staffing and recruiting. But for the last 20 years, the market has been changing. There’s a technology boom that has happened, and a lot of private sector companies, including large companies from the U.S., are entering India’s market. This has changed the landscape throughout the years.

How is the staffing industry and job market different in APAC compared to the U.S.?

APAC overall is perhaps the most diverse and complex staffing market. It’s fast evolving and is one of the most attractive staffing markets in the world. While Japan is the second largest staffing market in the world after the U.S., APAC has promising, fast evolving markets that include China, Australia and India.

A common mistake global companies make is to bundle a geographic region together and look for a one-size-fits-all approach. The APAC region is one of the most diverse regions and needs country specific strategies for our markets. APAC is a $15.4 billion market in IT staffing which is the main industry Horizontal works with. Now, we are working in some of the largest markets in the region including India, Australia and Malaysia.

How have staffing companies developed in the APAC region?

Most of the APAC economies are growing about 4-6%, so there are a lot of opportunities in these markets. A major opportunity is technology. While large global companies are trying to evolve in these markets by setting up large capability centers, the relationship between job seekers and employers are evolving as well. 15 years ago, employees preferred full-time roles in these emerging markets. With new opportunities, job seekers needs are changing. Work is changing overall as teams become more global. The latest Tesla car is being designed by engineers sitting around the world, Microsoft has one of the largest centers in India and investment banks have technology centers across APAC. This globalization forces the workforce to change.

A major change is the way employers or companies procure talent. Staffing companies used to simply be middlemen in finding talent, but customers need more. The kind of talent organizations are looking for is changing. Customers look at companies like us to provide more value such as providing top quality talent that can adapt with their changing business. The pandemic forced companies to invest more in their digital technology, and technology has continued to change rapidly. APAC works with companies who are mainly English speaking and are technologically advanced, which provides a positive outlook for our market. Looking at the size of the market is very advantageous as India is at $1.2 billion, Australia is at $1.5 billion and Malaysia and Singapore are highly strategic areas for staffing firm growth. We are very confident that those market will have long-term growth.

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