The Great Resignation: The Impact on APAC’s CXOs

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 7 October 2022

Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director of PageGroup Asia Pacific

Sparked by the global pandemic, the Great Resignation has already been happening among the C-suite in Asia Pacific for the last 2 years. In latest studies from The Page Executive Asia Pacific Talent Trends 2022 Report – The Great X, there has been a wave of resignations amongst senior leadership in Asia Pacific as over one-third of leaders polled (36%) have been at their current jobs for not more than two years. Our research also found that 75% of leaders will be looking for new career prospects over the next few months. We have to prepare for the wave of resignations to intensify with the clear majority indicating a major talent migration event is upon us in coming months.

While salaries, bonuses and rewards are still top attraction motivators for all candidates, including those in leadership roles, our survey shows a big swing towards non-monetary motivators. These are becoming increasingly important to candidates when deciding on the company to join.

Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director of PageGroup Asia Pacific says, “Human capital is one of the most in-demand resources right now, and we see demand far outstripping supply across many sectors in APAC. While remuneration continues to be important to leadership candidates, it is not the only reason that people join or stay with an organisation. They are now asking about a company’s culture, purpose and values, and leadership.”

“Now, more than ever, all employees want a choice of where and how they want to work, so employers are faced with redesigning the playbook in a more human-centric way. The challenge for leaders is to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy — it will require a delicate balancing act between the needs of the business and the needs of individuals and teams. Giving employees some degree of choice and regularly engaging with them will be key,” Anthony Thompson continues.

There is a significant group of leaders who are unhappy. 86% of the respondents across Asia Pacific believe that their company does not take active steps to ensure work-life balance. In a talent-short market, companies cannot afford their exit, rejection, or negative word-of-mouth.

Increasingly, hiring leads and HR personnel are recognizing that while competitive salaries and career progression are key drivers in employee retention, it is just as important to pay attention to the so-called “soft” motivators. Flexibility could be the key for talent retention in this day and age. 64% of leaders surveyed said they would sacrifice money for more happiness, better well-being, and work-life balance — and this was consistent across all generations, gender, sexual orientation and industries.

Having been thrown into a hybrid or remote work model for over two years, employees across APAC do not want to return to the office-only model of pre COVID days. When job searching, 71% of leaders — want a hybrid work arrangement between working from home and the office. Companies looking to implement hybrid work models for the long-term also need to consider strategies to boost employee engagement and provide employees with the right tools to conduct remote work smoothly.

The Page Executive Asia Pacific Talent Trends 2022 Report – The Great X features insights and market sentiment in Asia Pacific on prominent recruitment and talent-related topics including flexible work, mental health, employee well-being as well as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). The results draw from a survey of 15 major industries covered in 12 APAC markets.