Important Points To Note When Hiring For Teams In Asia

Road of Asia - 2010 Asian Games

Road of Asia – 2010 Asian Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I have been recruiting for people to be stationed in several Asian countries which led me to think of a few things when it comes to hiring for teams in Asia.

  • Asia’s not a small place. I don’t mean to sound cheeky but Asia-Pacific is very diverse in terms of geography, cultures and languages. Just because you have managers in one or two countries “close by” doesn’t mean that your new hires will feel properly taken care of.
  • In countries where you don’t have a big team, it’s better if you can internally transfer a top performer over. Shift the open headcount to Asian countries where you have a big team. It’s career progression for the top performer. It’s easier to train the new hire in a larger office. Plus you avoid the risk of new hires developing practices that are alien to the company culture and standards because they are “alone” in a remote office.
  • Expect the manager to staff ratio to be higher. You really need local managers in key offices. Remote management is challenging at best when you have such diversities in Asia.
  • The senior manager should travel often, not only to see clients but to spend time with the local staff. You don’t learn much via one-on-one’s even on videoconferences. Your new staff will be more comfortable talking to you if they see you giving them the honor of your time and attention (aka “giving face”).
  • As always, it’s more important to hire people who can fit into your company culture. The rest you can teach. The cultural fit is important because in most cases, you will have to trust them to work alone.

What else do you look when you do Asian hires?

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Posted in Management
2 comments on “Important Points To Note When Hiring For Teams In Asia
  1. I guess a lot of what you describe here applies to all places where different cultures and languages exist close to each other! Thanks!

    • Thanks Jenny! Yes, that thought crossed my mind. I guess we don’t enjoy the benefit of a large part of the population being multilingual in regional languages (ie Europe).

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