Where is the talent? This was a key question posed and answered by executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group Indonesia during a presentation in front of the CEOs of 17 technology-based companies at Google’s headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Tina Nugraheni, the former head of Monroe Consulting Group Indonesia’s Technology Division, and Monica Oudang, chief human resources officer at Go-Jek, the Indonesian transportation and logistics company, presented at the high-level meeting.
“There is a shortage of talent in Indonesia, particularly for experienced and capable senior executives as well as for highly technical roles, and this is particularly pronounced in the technology sector, which incorporates Ecommerce, FinTech [financial technology], online website marketplaces and digital media,” Tina said. “The recruitment of the professionals needed for companies to establish and expand is a major area of concern for businesses operating in these sectors.”
Tina, who now leads Monroe Indonesia’s Industrial Division, said her presentation covered three main areas, namely the talent landscape in the digital industry, future recruitment trends, and how to tackle recruitment challenges.
She said she did not have good news for the CEOs, saying that the talent gap was expected to increase “across all levels, including the executive level, middle management and even entry level.”
“At the executive level with the shortage of leadership and management skills, and a lack of global exposure, there is an acute lack of quality candidates; the quality gap is much more pronounced then the quantity gap.”
Looking at middle-managers, Tina reiterated that the “situation will worsen,” which would have a detrimental impact on many businesses.
“Middle-managers are crucial links, translating strategy into concrete business plans, communicating with employees, and managing the business—and most of the people within the business,” she said. “With a shortage of talent, companies will struggle to hit their targets, motivate the frontline, and hold on to overburdened staff.”
Tina said the situation was a direct result of Indonesia’s education system, which was not preparing students adequately for the evolving jobs marketplace.
“It’s obviously an area the government needs to address, particularly in the technology sector,” she said. “And we need to encourage our young people to become more critical thinkers so they can quickly address issues as they arise in the workplace and find solutions by thinking creatively.”
Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stated that he desires Indonesia’s digital economy to be worth worth US$130 billion by 2020, the largest in Southeast Asia.
Tina said the impacts of the drive were tangible, with offline businesses shifting to online models, the launch of a number of exciting technology-based companies such as Go-Jek, and advertising now dominated by the likes of Tokopedia, OLX, Traveloka, Bukalapak, and Sale Stock.
“Monroe Indonesia has specialised in recruitment in the technology sector for more than 15 years, and we are now seeing this cross-over with some of our other divisions, including Consumer Goods as companies open sales markets online, and our Industrial Division as companies embrace technology, automation and logistics solutions.”
Tina said the recruitment of talent for digital companies posed unique difficulties, including often unreasonably high salary expectations.
“Many job candidates in this sector are expecting 20 percent to 30 percent increases in their salaries when switching companies,” Tina said. “But there are other ways to attract the right candidates.”
She said companies not only needed to ensure they provided a comprehensive salary and benefits package, but could also offer to enhance the work-life balance, engage their staff more and demonstrate that the company and its products or services had a real value. “Candidates will see the value of the ‘product’ and how they will be able to add more value to it and play an active role in the success of the company.”
Tina said it was also important for companies to engage with the correct recruitment partner, with 75 percent of executives in Indonesia now using recruitment companies to search for new job prospects.
“In addition to Monroe’s extensive database of executive job-seekers, Monroe actively engages with passive candidates who are content to remain with their current employers,” she said. “These executives are often highly desirable as they are content in their work because they are really good at doing their jobs. These are the candidates Monroe Indonesia targets for our client companies.”
Monroe Consulting Group is a multiple international award-winning executive recruitment company that focuses on emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific, namely China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Chile and Mexico. It specialises in the areas of Technology, Consumer Goods, Industry, Health and Professional Services, which incorporates the banking, finance and insurance industries.