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More senior executives now hired in the region

Zafar Anjum | March 13, 2012
Compensation packages are likely to be under pressure to increase, and executives in China can command some of the top compensation packages in the region: CTPartners

The hiring scene for senior executive talent has transformed quite a bit.

Asian companies now hire about one out of every three senior executives recruited by headhunters in the region, according to executive search firm CTPartners.

Ten years ago, the scene was different-almost all the senior executive positions in Asia placed by international search firms tended to be for foreign multinational corporations.

Now, the proportion of senior talent hires by foreign multinational and Asian companies in the region is likely to be 50/50, says the executive search firm. Headquartered in New York, it has 23 offices in 15 countries. Its Asia Pacific offices are in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

"Nowadays Asian companies, including Chinese state-owned enterprises, are less inclined to rely on their own networks to search for their next chief executive, regional director or international business development head for instance, and will turn to global executive recruiters so as to extend their search across the world and across industries," says Train Luo, managing partner of CTPartners in China. "Asian companies are also increasingly open to hiring western executive talent, particularly if the candidates bring highly technical, functional or product expertise, and have already spent a long time living and working in Asia."

"As the Asian businesses of global firms expand and diversify, no longer can their senior management roles be filled effectively by one-dimensional executives. What is required are executives with profit and loss experience, strategy expertise, and bottom-line skills as well as people management skills. As a result of the red hot demand for such talent, seasoned professionals with top-level general management expertise are among the most difficult executives to identify and retain in the Asia Pacific region," said Kathryn Yap, managing partner of CTPartners in Singapore.

"Over the last decade, we have also witnessed an over tenfold increase in the number of candidates from the US and Europe overall that want to come to work in Asia. The economic slowdown in the West has resulted in their interest in moving here, in search of greener pastures".

"With demand by both multinationals and Asian companies converging onto a limited pool of sophisticated and skilled senior executives in the region, compensation packages are likely to be under pressure to increase," said Pagan Van, managing partner of CTPartners Hong Kong. "While Japan and Hong Kong were once considered home to the top salaries in the region, executives located in China can command some of the top compensation packages today."

 

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