Many macro-economic factors, including geopolitical shifts, a global economic slowdown, and the rise of AI, are changing how companies think about their business priorities in 2023 and beyond.
With many businesses reporting job cuts going into 2023, the pool of qualified candidates for many positions has become larger. The role of identifying the right talent is set to be tougher as companies screen, assess, and identify the right candidates amid a wider talent pool.
For 15 years, HireRight has conducted an annual survey of thousands of human resources, risk, and talent acquisition professionals to understand the HR landscape better – in particular, the roles of technology, background screening, and remote working.
This year, for our 2023 Global Benchmark Survey, we are asking our respondents how these issues are changing in light of new business priorities and the emerging economic outlook. With that in mind, we will be exploring the following key areas.
Talent Acquisition Trends: The big technology opportunity in APAC
When it comes to adopting recruitment technology, in 2022 HireRight’s 15th Annual Benchmark Report indicated that there had actually been a slight decline in the percentage of businesses who were using applicant tracking systems (ATS) in the APAC region. More companies (48 percent) said they were not using an ATS in HireRight’s 2022 survey, compared with 35 percent the year before. Additionally, only 12 percent of the companies said they plan to utilise an applicant tracking system in the next 12 months, compared with 25 percent in 2021.
Regarding challenges, 49% of the respondents in the APAC region noted that creating an employer brand that attracts talent is the top challenge area, followed by finding qualified job candidates (45 percent) and meeting candidates’ benefits or perks expectations (32 percent).
But which recruitment tactics worked best for companies?
Over half of the 2022’s APAC survey respondents said they had increased salaries or offered better or additional benefits. Updating their website’s recruitment pages (40 percent) was another widely used recruitment tactic, closely followed by working with an external recruitment agency (38 percent).
“Despite online job boards typically being among the most effective recruitment channels, many employers still believe that their candidates will either apply directly through their company website or review their recruitment pages to get a better feel for the company culture and values,” the report noted.
In 2022, the year that followed a general easing of COVID-19 restrictions, will there have been a rise in technology adoption? Will companies already leveraging an ATS provider have integrated their background screening processes with their ATS? Your responses to our 2023 survey will help us understand the bigger picture here.
The emerging rise of background screening
The adoption of background screening practices is still emerging in the APAC region, especially when compared with countries like the United States. However, for businesses that are conducting pre-employment background checks on their candidates, the benefits are clear.
In HireRight’s 2022 Benchmark Survey, seventy-six percent of the companies from APAC reported a better quality of hires as a result of background screening, 45 percent said the practice offers consistent safety and security, and 34 percent said background screening impacts employee retention. Across the world, HireRight’s 2022 report observed that respondents believed background screening consistently helps their companies to deliver better quality hires.
Adopting a robust background screening program as part of the onboarding process can help mitigate a company’s employment risk. Additionally, by reminding job seekers to check that their information is correct before applying, companies may deter candidates with falsified credentials from applying, thus helping to contribute toward a better quality of hires.
With fake degree scandals often appearing in the media, particularly in India, education checks continue to remain a high priority throughout APAC. 90% of HireRight’s 2022 survey respondents from India said their business conducts employment checks, and 85% conduct education checks, over double the percentage of North American survey respondents that said they conduct education checks in the 2022 survey.
The majority of APAC survey respondents (76 percent) said they evaluate background screening partners on the accuracy of their results. This was followed by cost (53 percent) and speed (31 percent). Accuracy can depend on a number of factors including, as the report notes, up-to-date sources, direct candidate engagement, and robust quality assurance processes.
More businesses were conducting pre-employment criminal checks in 2022 than in 2021 or 2020. Will this reported rise in criminal checks in APAC continue into 2023? Again, your survey responses will help us understand if this is a continuing trend.
Remote working - No longer business critical
While remote working has led to many organisations operating with a hybrid workplace, more companies are planning to move to physical offices, according to data from the 2022 survey. And most companies do not plan to rescreen their employees before returning to the office.
Only 23 percent of the APAC respondents said they would screen their employees and non-employees, with an additional 23 percent saying they would only do so for senior or high-risk roles. The number of employees working remotely in the region appears to be in decline and was predicted to reduce further by the start of 2023. Will this year’s survey find this to be true, or will there be a resurgence of remote working this year?
HireRight’s 2022 Report observed a steady decline in the percentage of companies whose employees are working remotely. In January 2021, 35 percent of APAC respondents said that between 75 and 100 percent of their workforce was operating remotely in some capacity. By January 2023, this was expected to be down to just 10 percent. Will that trend continue this year, or will your survey responses show a resurgence in remote working?
Share your voice
We are looking for answers to these questions and more in our 2023 Global Benchmark Survey, and are asking HR, risk, and talent acquisition professionals to anonymously share their experiences from the past year, as well as their predictions for the year ahead.
The survey, which will be live until 8 March, at 11:59 pm (SGT), should take less than 10 minutes. Afterwards, you can opt to receive an advance copy of our annual report, which will include insights from businesses from APAC, as well as across the world, on the state of HR in 2023.