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By Emma Dale. Posted in Blog

‘Teams or Zoom?’, ‘I’m in the waiting room’, ‘You’re on mute’, ‘ I have Zoom fatigue’.

How often have we heard (and said) these phrases over the past two years of working through a global pandemic? As restrictions begin to lift in many markets, the impact on company culture, team morale, and employee loyalty is only now beginning to be understood. And companies are changing their approaches accordingly.

On Thursday 30th June, Emma Dale, Prospect’s Co-Founder and Managing Director (Asia) hosted a panel discussion with industry leaders on the topic “Rebuilding and Reconnecting: The Challenge of Recruitment and Retention in a Post-Pandemic World”.

Held as part of PRCA’s Corporate Affairs Forum in Singapore, panelists included Adrian Warr, CEO, Southeast Asia, Edelman, Leonard Yeow, Executive Talent Acquisition Leader – Asia Pacific, HP Inc, and Maureen Tseng, General Manager, Singapore and Indonesia, The Hoffman Agency.

Throughout the discussion it became apparent that team leaders and hiring managers in Asia are actively seeking ways to change the working environment to better cater to the priorities of existing and new employees. Here are a few secrets that our group of panelists shared during the discussion that can help as you evaluate new or existing opportunities:

  • They trust you

The pandemic has made companies fully aware that remote working is possible. And even more than that, the panel acknowledged that requiring teams to be back in the office every day is no longer realistic.

Companies have been disproportionately losing female talent because of family responsibilities: a trend that was exacerbated during the pandemic. There is an increased understanding that businesses must take tangible steps in driving gender equality.

A big part of this is making flexible working and different employment structures (freelance, contract or part-time) available. According to Maureen Tseng, this approach has been working. She attributed The Hoffman Agency’s success in retaining talent to being willing to provide opportunities for flexible working – and trusting employees to remain accountable.

  • They’re listening

According to Prospect’s annual State of the Industry Review, employee loyalty has plummeted, with 67% of PR and Communications industry professionals looking to change their employment in 2022. While compensation is the top reason to remain in their current employment, increased purpose to work and promotion opportunities are also key factors.

The pandemic has given people a chance to examine their priorities. Evaluating how a company aligns with an individual’s purpose is an increasingly important consideration. The panel admitted the industry as a whole needs to communicate more clearly about how PR professionals contribute to a better society. They highlighted the need to help their teams – especially at the junior levels – better understand the purpose, impact and value of the discipline.

  • They want you to grow into roles

Promotion opportunities were cited as one of the top three reasons for employees to remain in their current employment. Similarly, according to the panel, companies would much prefer to train existing team members to help them grow into a role rather than trying to attract new talent.

Leonard Yeow shared that HP has established both structured and informal training programmes for team members across different levels. However, it’s not a one size fits all solution. He acknowledged that every individual is different and the most effective approach is bespoke.

  • They want to fit the role for you, not the other way around

In our conversations with industry leaders globally, we’ve seen a trend of employers shifting their approach from hiring people for specific roles to adapting roles according to the strengths and interests of candidates. This trend was supported through the panel discussion.

Adrian Warr described how Edelman has been dismantling silos within the agency and moving away from hiring for specific teams or practices. To do this, business leaders must adopt a flexible mindset rather than ticking off the boxes of a job description that is cast in stone.

  • Prospect can help

For more than two decades, Prospect has been building and growing careers for PR and communications professionals in Asia and the UK through recruitment, coaching and mentoring.

Contact us to find out how we can help grow your career or support the careers of your team members, and check out our roles currently on offer.