Insights from the Mercer Asia HR Conference 2023: Shaping the future of work

Autor Charlotte Matthew
September 19, 2023

I recently had the privilege of attending the Mercer Asia HR Conference at the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore, where I joined Puneet Swani, Senior Partner, International, and an array of esteemed clients and global leaders from top organisations. The two-day event brought together 200 HR and business leaders, as well as CHROs and subject matter experts from various fields. The conference was not only highly informative but also showcased Mercer’s dedication to transforming data into actionable strategies and fostering future-ready and sustainable workforces, all while emphasising the importance of human-centric organisations.

Here are some key takeaways from the conference that left a lasting impression:

  • The APAC growth story: Asia-Pacific (APAC) remains the fastest-growing region globally. To make decisions at the pace required, group headquarters should consider delegating more authority to regional leaders.
  • Talent shortages persist: Despite market uncertainty, global talent shortages are at a 17-year high, with an average voluntary turnover rate of 14.5%. This highlights the importance of talent retention strategies.
  • Inclusive leadership: Successful firms require strong leadership and an inclusive culture where employees can be authentic and human at work. Creating such an environment is essential for organisational success.
  • Know your customer (KYC) internally: Understanding the needs and preferences of employees is crucial for talent attraction and retention. Factors like compensation and work-life balance are top priorities for employees.
  • Invest in learning agility: Career growth and learning agility are vital. Proactive communication and investment in employee development can have a significant impact on workforce productivity.
  • Data-driven decision making: Employers should leverage data alongside employee feedback to inform decision making and shape their operating models. HR should take an anticipative approach and focus on upskilling and reskilling employees.
  • Target Interaction Model (TIM) & Target Operating Model (TOM): To establish an effective target operating model organisations must prioritise a people-centric and anticipative approach. HR should focus on creating meaningful experiences for employees, not just managing processes.
  • Embrace GenAI: Generative AI is here to stay. Organisations should embrace such technology to enhance their operations. Mercer’s GPT demo showcased the potential of GenAI and talent marketplace tools adding that employers must account for the associated data, security and bias risks.
  • Rewards and benefits: In APAC, cash remains king. In Singapore, a 4% pay increase is budgeted for 2024, with a 9.5% increase for promotions. Understanding employee demographics and needs is crucial for benefits design.
  • Pay equity and diversity: Pay equity remains a challenge, with males in APAC earning $1 for every $0.84 earned by females on average. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are increasingly tied to executive performance and accountability.
  • Hybrid work: The majority of survey respondents (70%) expressed a strong preference for hybrid work arrangements. Inflexible work patterns are considered dealbreakers by many employees.

Note: The data presented is sourced from the Mercer APAC 2023 survey.

The Mercer Asia HR Conference made a strong impression, providing our CHRO community with valuable insights. If any of the themes discussed pique your interest and you’d like to explore them further, I highly recommend reaching out to Puneet and his team.

The future of work is evolving rapidly, and events like these are essential for staying at the forefront of HR and business trends.

If you would like to discuss your career, or chat about the Southeast Asia HR market in general, please reach out to myself or a member of our team today.

Charlotte's jobs

  • Financial services

ER Lead – Asia

Our client, a leading global financial services organization, is looking to appoint a new Head of Employee Relations (APAC) into the Singapore office. Operating in a regional ER leadership role, also sitting on the HR Leadership team locally, this individual will operate in a strategic and hands on position as an individual contributor, leading the […]
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 11 Stunden
  • Financial services
  • Insurance

Reward Lead – Asia – Insurance

Our client a leading financial services group is looking to appoint a Reward Lead (Asia) into Singapore, in a brand new role for the region. The organization is going through extensive growth, investment and transformation and as a result, it is a wonderful time to join them in the early stages of their next exciting […]
  • Salary SGD180000 – SGD220000 per annum
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 15 Stunden
  • Financial services
  • Insurance
  • Professional Services

Head of Recruitment – Asia – Financial Services

Our client a leading financial services group is looking to appoint a Head of Recruitment (Asia) into Singapore, in a brand new role for the region. The organization is going through extensive growth, investment and transformation and as a result, it is a wonderful time to join them in the early stages of their next […]
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 2 Tagen
  • Financial services
  • Insurance

Head of HR Services & HR COO – Asia

We’re delighted to be partnering with a global US headquartered financial services company on a newly created Head of Shared Services & HR COO for APAC opportunity. Working closely with the business, global HR teams and business leadership COO’s, your role will be responsible in driving the effectiveness and efficiency of people systems, infrastructure, operations […]
  • Salary SGD200000 – SGD250000 per annum
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 2 Tagen
  • Financial services
  • Fintech
  • Insurance

Head of Human Resources, Asia Pacific

Our client a highly regarded international financial services group is looking to appoint a HR Director (APAC) into Singapore. The organization is going through extensive growth, transformation and integration across a number of complex and diverse business areas, and as a result, it is an exciting time to join the group and lead a large […]
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 2 Tagen
  • Financial services

Head of HR – Tech & Ops – Banking – Director

Frazer Jones is delighted to partner with a leading financial services group to appoint a Group Head of HR to partner their Tech & Ops Leadership team group wide. This is an exciting opportunity to join a fast paced, purpose driven and diverse organisation, partnering closely with the Tech and Ops leadership team spread across […]
  • Salary SGD250000 – SGD350000 per annum
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 6 Tagen
  • Oil/energy/renewables/utilities

Head of HR – Commodities Trading

We are partnering with a highly reputable China headquartered commodities trading start-up to appoint a Head of HR in Singapore. Job description: Reporting to the CEO and working closely with the traders and broader leadership team, supported by a small HR team and Office Manager, you will be responsible for continuing to enhance the HR […]
  • Salary SGD200001 – SGD250000 per annum
  • Posted Veröffentlicht vor 6 Tagen

Featured Content