Today’s audiences don’t want to read promotional ads, but they love hearing engaging stories. As human attention spans dwindle and the amount of content continues to grow exponentially, it is becoming more imperative to find ways to set your brand apart. For communicators who want to capture audience attention and keep their brands at the top of their audiences’ minds, great storytelling can be the key differentiator.


PR Newswire’s latest eBook “10 Tips to Leverage the Power of Storytelling” shares the best practices on how to captivate and engage audience with compelling brand stories. Viewers can also find examples of great storytelling done by well-known brands such as IBM and Panasonic. The full eBook is available for download now.

Skills gaps are an issue of increasing concern for employers today. The importance of innovation and preparing a workforce and its leaders for the future cannot be underestimated. Perhaps in reaction to the slash-and-burn budget cuts seen post-downturn, we are now seeing huge sums invested into training each year. HR professionals are under pressure to prioritize learning and development while demonstrating tangible return on investment. However, a learning and development strategy formed without adequate understanding of an organization’s needs can be as ineffectual as no investment at all.


Traditional methods of identifying gaps, such as asking managers, HR or business leaders, do not always get to the source of the issue. Feedback may be subjective and less reliable than formal research in focusing training on the competencies an organization really needs.


And when it comes to sourcing skills from outside the organization, recruitment is often undertaken without a real understanding of what skills and competencies are required for organizational success. To overcome these issues, a considered, evidence based strategy is required.


Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) is an effective, proven approach to identifying existing skills gaps, prioritizing recruitment, and identifying future needs. Driven by robust research techniques and using employee and stakeholder consultation, LNA gets to the heart of the skills business requires.


This paper introduces a Four-stage LNA approach that detailing the way in which company can draw on their employees’ experiences and nurture them for future organizational success.


Orc International's article

What does it mean to be a leader in the “sharing economy?” How do you lead when most of your employees are contractors or simply users of your website? How do you manage an organization that has been designed to virtually eliminate the need for command and control?


These are some of the questions more and more of us will face as new organizational forms and business models continue to grow and displace more traditional organizational structures. As the disruptive business models pioneered by the likes of Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB expand to other services and segments of the economy, more of us will be involved in starting, managing and leading these “organizations”. Even more traditional organizations will continue to evolve their human resources practices and allow flatter organizations, more flexible working arrangements and greater use of part time and contract employees. How can the leader of the future adapt to this new environment and what management skills and personality traits will be necessary for success? (Some additional thinking on this issue can be found in a recent Forbes article:


One of the first questions to ask is whether there is a “leader” in the sharing economy. If everyone is an independent entrepreneur, is there really a leader? Of course there is. Even Uber and AirBnB have leaders that created the business model, manage the overall direction of the company, set policies and standards, and maintain the brand. The role of these leaders has many of the aspects of leadership in more traditional organizations. The key difference, however, is that there is less command and control of individual employees that in a typical corporate structure. The rank and file “employees” are really independent contract workers (pending, of course, the court cases currently underway to determine employment status). Traditional methods of motivation, direction and evaluation need to give way to new tools and techniques.


Regardless of the changing relationship between new economy leaders and workers, leaders still need to provide the key elements of any successful organization – a vision, a strategic direction, a set of values by which the company operates, and a culture that supports the company’s goals. In fact, clearly articulating these goals, standards and values is even more important when you don’t have the opportunity to look over your employees’ shoulders. Leaders of tomorrow have to be great communicators, and work hard to craft a vision and values that are easily understood and welcomed by the workforce. Regular tracking of how the organization is living up to these standards is also important.


Training is also a critical element of the new economy. The workforce needs to be absolutely clear on what they can and cannot do, how they are expected to behave and how they are to reflect the company’s brand image. Uber drivers are expected to have reasonable automobiles, drive safely and arrive on time. AirBnB apartment owners need to be able to meet the expectations of the renters who stay with them. Leaders in the organization must provide the guidance to ensure that the customer experience is consistent and high quality. This requires not only training, but regular evaluation of the customer experience. This, in turn, requires significant investment in data capture and analysis. With thousands of “employees” around the world, all acting independently, the only way to keep an eye on them is through regular analysis of customer feedback data. In many ways, this data replaces the on-hand manager in a typical business structure.


Tomorrow’s leaders also need to be keenly aware of the public perceptions of their companies. With new organizational structures and business models come new challenges. Dealing with governments, lobbying for appropriate regulatory frameworks, handling misperceptions of the business model and fighting entrenched special interests become even more important.  Diplomatic and negotiation skills are critical. Public relations and the ability to sell yourself, your company and your vision are indispensable. Getting the public on your side can mean the difference between a thriving business model and a failed experiment.


Finally, leaders in these new organizations need to be vigilant and focus on creating environments where trust, integrity and safety are at the fore. These attributes are important for any organization but without ongoing daily supervision, it’s far too easy for a single employee to damage the image of the organization beyond repair. Leaders must continually communicate of the firm’s values and regularly review employee performance and customer comments. Ensuring adherence to a clear set of values is perhaps the most important role of today’s new leaders.


In summary, leaders in today’s sharing economy need to 1) create a compelling vision, 2) communicate the vision, goals and standards clearly to all employees, 3) develop a public platform for communicating with governments and the public and 4) create the data gathering and analytical tools to continually track of both employee activity and customer perceptions. Leadership today is no longer command and control, but more guide and cajole. Whether you work in a “sharing economy” company or are considering a flatter, more flexible organizational structure, your management skills will need to adapt. You’ll have less direct control but potentially a wider sphere of influence. As a result, effective communication is more important than ever before and developing and enhancing the firm’s brand image is critical. So, brush up on those communications and negotiations skills and make sure your data analytics are up to speed. Without them, you won’t have much to share in the sharing economy.



Despite some political misgivings and warnings from critics about the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a recent poll by Edelman shows 69% of businesses and 67% of consumers in the member countries believe the trade pact will benefit their economies.


Companies in Vietnam, Singapore, Chile, and the United States are the most optimistic about a boost to their business from the TPP, which still must be ratified by lawmakers in all 12 countries. At just 17%, businesses in Japan and New Zealand have the weakest confidence about the benefits.


U.S. businesses are slightly less aware of the TPP than the country average but U.S. consumers have the lowest overall awareness at 44% percent, compared with the average of 66% and the high of 95% in Japan, according to the online survey by Edelman, a global communications marketing firm. (Please see the detailed U.S. data below.)


U.S. companies say they are prepared for the TPP (68% versus the average of 52%) and tend to see benefits for their business (53% versus 47%) but U.S. consumers are less upbeat or simply do not know.


Businesses across the TPP nations feel “cross-border relationships” and “access to products and services” are the most positive aspects, with “rules and regulations” as the most negative.


While two-thirds of consumers see the TPP as beneficial to their economy, only 47% feel it will benefit them and their families. The impact on jobs and employment worries 40% of consumers, with Canadians the most concerned at 51%.


Malaysian consumers are the most skeptical of the TPP, with only 49% believing it will be beneficial for their economy. Vietnamese consumers are the most hopeful about the benefits to their economy (96%) and to themselves and their families (80%).


The poll of 1,000 consumers and 1,000 businesses across the signatory countries – excluding Brunei and Peru – was done on October 7-9 by Edelman Berland, the company’s research arm.


The following are key data points for the U.S. segment of the poll. The average of the countries surveyed is included (in brackets) for reference.




Heard of TPP?

Yes:                                      70%        (76%)

No:                                       30%        (24%)


How beneficial for your economy?

Very beneficial:                33%        (22%)

Quite beneficial:              39%        (47%)

Quite unbeneficial:         10%        (13%)

Very unbeneficial:           8%          (9%)

Don’t know:                      11%        (9%)


How beneficial for your business?

Very beneficial:                24%        (13%)

Quite beneficial:              29%        (34%)

Quite unbeneficial:         12%        (18%)

Very unbeneficial:           9%          (10%)

Don’t know:                      26%        (24%)


How prepared is your business for TPP?

Very prepared:                 36%        (17%)

Quite prepared:               32%        (35%)

Quite unprepared:          12%        (24%)

Very unprepared:            20%        (23%)




Heard of TPP?

Yes:                                   44%        (66%)

No:                                    56%        (34%)


How beneficial for your economy?

Very beneficial:               18%       (22%)

Quite beneficial:             38%       (45%)

Quite unbeneficial:        11%       (9%)

Very unbeneficial:          12%       (8%)

Don’t know:                     21%       (16%)


How beneficial for you and your family?

Very beneficial:              14%        (11%)

Quite beneficial:            26%        (36%)

Quite unbeneficial:       10%        (15%)

Very unbeneficial:         12%        (11%)

Don’t know:                    37%        (28%)

For the HR community, diversity can be a topic that’s always niggling away at the back of the mind. It can make us question whether we are conforming to the policies, abiding by employment law, and using the right terminology. Having a diversity policy has become synonymous with “avoiding discrimination”; employing the “right” number of people from minority groups; promoting enough females to senior positions; or striking the delicate balance between performance management and bullying.


This positions diversity as a one-way process designed to advantage the employee, but with less focus on the benefits it brings to the employer. If we are completely honest, a lot of us probably see diversity as a chore, something that can get in the way of “business as usual”.


When we asked a global sample of HR professionals what they would be focusing on during the coming two years, diversity featured at the bottom of the list: below the likes of leadership development, employee well-being, engagement, employer branding, and recruitment and talent attraction. Only 12% admitted diversity was a major challenge that they were actively trying to address.


So why are we writing a paper about a topic to which our audience appears to be fairly ambivalent?


Through our research and interactions with organizations around the world, we are seeing increasing evidence for promoting diversity from a “nice-to-have” “box-ticking” exercise on the public sector agenda to a global imperative. Our research is showing that the definition of diversity is changing and that managing diversity is actually an indirect way of addressing those HR issues higher up the priority list. Diversity is no longer just about gender, age and ethnicity, and it is not just there to protect the interests of minority groups. It is a business tool that can address skills gaps, increase innovation, and derive superior performance from individuals. But the message is not getting out to the right people.


When organizations understand the reciprocal benefits diversity can provide for employees and organizations alike, it will be taken seriously. Organizations that are realizing this are the ones with not only an interesting mix of people, but also an agile workforce with a point of difference. Like employee engagement some 15–20 years ago, diversity will lose its fluffy- HR status and start to be part of C-suite discussions and woven into the fabric of employee value propositions and organizational culture.


Check out our paper for more on how the definition of diversity changes, how to build the case for diversity, what the barriers to diversity are, and how to make diversity work. We are challenging the status quo to get the message out there, that by casting our net wide enough and employing and supporting a diverse workforce, we will have the foundations in place to build a richer future.

It wasn’t too long ago that most business school students made a clear distinction between marketing and finance (or economics or accounting).  Finance was for folks comfortable with numbers, who were analytical, who wanted to deal with ”hard facts.” Marketing was all about “soft skills” and didn’t have much quantitative content. It was more “creative” and “intuitive.” My, how things have changed!

Marketing is no longer the “softer, easier” counterpart to finance and accounting. Over the past 25 years, the field of marketing has morphed into one of the most data intensive and analytically driven fields there are and quantitative skills have become an essential element in any marketer’s tool kit.

So what has changed? Why has marketing become the new haven for quant jocks? In a word – data.  The growth of new technologies and the explosion of data that they permit have completely changed the face of the field. Google, Amazon, Iphone apps, your supermarket loyalty card – everyone is tracking what you do and buy, who you talk to, what you say, and where you go. Digital technology in your phone, your car, your credit card, and thousands of other places allows companies to collect and store data that would have been only a dream just a few short years ago.

Today’s marketing is what turns this data into information, turns information into insights, and turns insights into action plans.

Does this mean that marketing no longer requires creativity and that all marketing decisions can now be distilled directly from the numbers? Not at all. In fact, one could argue that today’s marketers need even more creativity and a greater willingness to think outside the box than ever before. Asking the right questions, deriving real insights from data, and turning those insights into marketing plans and products requires broad thinkers, not those who are content to simply “follow the pack.”

So, what are the skills and domains that today’s marketers need to master? I think there are several:

1)    Data analytics. There is no question that today data is king. It drives the marketing decisions in nearly every industry and in firms of all shapes and sizes. Understanding how to collect, analyze, and present data is the new foundation for marketers. They are no longer the “poets” in business schools, but have definitely joined the ranks of the “quants.”

2)    Design thinking. The ability to turn customer insights into new products and services is increasingly a key element in a marketer’s toolkit. How will the consumer use the product? What is most effective user interface? How can we design the product for both ease of use and ease of manufacture? Understanding how consumers react to design, color, function, and form should inform your marketing strategy and marketers at all levels should have some understanding of these concepts.

3)    Consumer psychology. Understanding the customer has always been the goal of marketing professionals and most successful marketers have a deep understanding of consumer psychology and behavior. This hasn’t changed with the explosion of data. Turning the data into real information and insight requires not only the ability to analyze the data, but to analyze the thinking going on behind the data. Successful marketers combine the data and the psychology. They use their psychological insights to analyze the data and use data trends and anomalies to assess customer psyche.

4)    Social Media. Marketing communications today is all about social media. Traditional media channels have been declining in use for years. Understanding how to market through Google, Twitter, Instagram. or whatever new product will launch tomorrow is an indispensable skill. Understanding how consumers use and react to these media forms can give you a leg up on your competition.

5)    Marketing and communications strategy. Of course, marketers still need to understand the traditional skills that they have always relied on – advertising, communications, pricing, and distribution. These skills have not become less important in this era of “extreme data” but they can be informed by and improved by the insights provided through the data.

Business schools have responded to the challenges faced by this data explosion in a variety of ways. Most schools have expanded their coursework in data analytics and marketing research.  Some have gone so far as to develop concentrations or majors in data analysis. On the design front, business schools are increasingly tying up with schools of engineering or design to create programs that focus on how to create and market product and services that are functional, good looking, and that truly delight the customer.  Social media marketing is now an integral part of any discussion of marketing communications.  Finally, schools of all sorts have recognized that many of these concepts are best learned by doing – not simply by reading a textbook.  More and more schools now offer experiential programs to develop these skills – analyzing real live data sets, developing actual products for a client, creating social media marketing plans for everything from student conferences to local businesses.  Students now have an amazing set of opportunities to really hone their marketing skills. (You can see how Chicago Booth approaches these issues at

So, as you consider a career in marketing, recognize that the field is vastly different from just a few years ago. It is both more data driven and more creative and requires both “left brain” and “right brain” thinking. The most successful marketers will be able to combine elements of both.

In the beginning, things at work are new. Exciting. An adventure. But then … reality sets in. Routines are established. Tasks are assigned. And those goals that looked good on paper must take shape with daily focus. Over time, the hours, stress, or a pouty co-worker can grow tiresome.


Before you know it, your employee feels burned out. Their productivity dips. They become a bit gossipy. There’s talk that they may be looking for another job.


As the manager, you’ve got to step in immediately before it’s too late.


While many people associate workplace burnout with long hours on the job, we find there are many other contributing factors: pressure, tight deadlines, low morale, combative office relationships, and less than stellar health and wellness benefits. Organizational changes that disrupt the norm — such as new managers, new leadership, or new lines of business — can also create stress for employees.


Helping employees manage through stressful times is crucial to the performance of the team and to the organization as well. However, from our recent Global Perspectives study of 7,295 employees around the world, only 51% are satisfied with the policies/practices in place to help manage health and well-being. Additionally, only 51% of employees say their organization cares about their health and well-being overall. Clearly, improvement is needed.


Our research also indicates that the tolerance for things that lead to burnout is higher or lower depending on many factors, but most obviously age. For example, Gen Y employees tend to have a more mobile mindset. They think they can get a job anywhere, so if they start to feel burned out or dissatisfied, they will leave. Conversely, older generations, such as the baby boomers, can stay put in a job they’re unhappy with because their goal is to ride out their time until retirement. We call employees in this category “critical stayers,” because, while they have no intention of leaving, they tend to bad mouth their job, managers, or the organization. These employees can be a drain on the team, facilitating burnout for others.


Of course, we are speaking in generalities with the examples above, but workplace burnout is a serious situation that greatly impacts the bottom line.


Our most recent paper provided suggestions on how leaders can continue to find better ways to bring out the best in their employees. Read more here on a host of strategies to keep employees engaged and help mitigate burnout.

Last week I participated in one of the many leadership conferences that take place throughout Asia. This one did a very nice job of covering many of the typical topics – how to assess aspiring leaders, managing in a cross cultural environment, building an entrepreneurial culture, and the like. However, it also addressed a topic that I have not heard discussed in any other major conference – how do you maintain your leadership edge when you have already made it to the top? In other words, how to you continue to grow and thrive as a leader once you have made it to the top of your profession? What can you do to ensure that you do not go stale and lose the qualities that got you here in the first place?


This is an increasingly important topic as lifespans continue to lengthen. Where just a few years ago most business leaders seriously considered retiring at 65 (or some even as young as 55), today most leaders can expect to be productive for another 10 or 20 years. This will continue to increase with worldwide improvements in health and technology. However, it is also clear that a 75 year old CEO will face different challenges and will have a different leadership style than her 50 year old counterpart (or even her 50 year old self). How can leaders who aspire to continue their roles or who have aspirations of new leadership positions ensure that they are ready and capable to serve effectively well into their later years?


During our discussion on this topic, we identified three key areas that today’s leaders need to keep in mind if they are to continue to be effective and vibrant leaders in the future:


  • Maintain your health. This is probably the greatest stumbling block to continued leadership. When you are as busy as most effective executives, it is easy to neglect your health. You put off going to the gym, you find yourself eating high calorie business meals many days during the week and when you are not eating too much, you are probably drinking too much. Add to this, the stress inherent in any important role and you have the makings of a major health crisis.


Adopting a more healthy lifestyle is the first step in maintaining your leadership edge. Exercise, healthy diet, and appropriate stress relievers should top the list of your leadership skill set. With proper attention to your health, you will not only avoid major disease, but will have greater energy, more endurance, better mental acuity, and a better attitude – all important leadership qualities


  • Keep your mind sharp. There is no doubt that our mental faculties change as we age. Age can affect our memory, the speed of our mental processing, and our ability to concentrate – not the ideal situation for a successful leader. However, there are ways to continue to stimulate the brain and help slow this brain aging process.   Anything you can do to stimulate the mind and force it to work in new ways can help keep you sharp and on top of your game. Learning a new skill, acquiring a new language, taking on significant new responsibilities – in short, anything that stretches your intellect will serve to keep your brain functioning at its highest level.


  • Build, maintain, and expand your relationships. The cliché “it’s lonely at the top” has a ring of truth about it. When you reach the top of your organization or profession, you have few peers. There are fewer colleagues to share ideas, challenge your thinking or encourage you when you need support. Unfortunately, when we reach the top we need these relationships as much as we ever did. Mentors are still important as are friends, colleagues, pastors, and coaches. These relationships will give you perspective, keep you focused on the things that are important and give you an outlet when you need advice and counsel. Without them the stresses and temptations of life at the top can be overwhelming.


All leaders – especially those who have reached the top – need to continually challenge themselves to expand their leadership potential. No matter if you plan to lead your organization for the foreseeable future or if you expect to undertake a dramatically new direction, with the right preparation you can be sure to be effective and successful for years to come.




Having been in Singapore for six years now I have an understanding of why it is great to do business in Singapore and Asia comparative to doing business in London and the UK. With 20 years of doing business in London, I can honestly say that doing business in Singapore and Asia is so much easier and more pleasurable than doing business in the UK and Europe.


Here are 10 reasons why:


1. People think regionally, not locally


One of the first things that I noticed about doing business here is that people do not just think about one country or one city, they think regionally. Asia-Pacific, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand; the list goes on but people do not tend to buy single countries here, they buy regions. Southeast Asia, ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, ANZ; the list goes on.


When I worked in London, most clients were interested in, well, London. Then there were maybe some who looked at England, some may even look at the whole of the UK. Not many looked at Europe as a whole. It is a mindset difference as much as a regional one.


2. People think locally when it comes to creative execution


Clients may well operate in and target Asia-Pacific countries; however, clients also tend to believe in country-specific and even city-specific creative execution. Every city and every country has different customers and that is often reflected in more personal creativity. This is as much so even in cities in the same country like China, India, and Indonesia.


3. Every city in Asia is different, every city fascinating


Asia-Pacific is vastly different to Europe. Every country in Europe has very similar broadband speeds, infrastructure, culture, religion, and politics. There are no military dictatorships in Europe, there are no alcohol-free countries in Europe, there are no typhoons, and less obvious corrupt practices.


Asia, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. That is the wonder of Asia. Every city, every country has different broadband speeds, culture, religions, peoples, way of life, and way of doing business.


When doing business in each city in Asia, you have to constantly be learning and embracing local cultures and local customs. It is inspiring, thought-provoking, revealing, fascinating, and stimulating. Singapore is very much the benchmark of how to run a business-orientated city in Asia-Pacific.


4. People will meet you


One of the great things I noticed about setting up meetings in Asia is that virtually every time I reach out to people on LinkedIn, they would generally say yes to meeting up. When I first came here without a job, I used my LinkedIn network from the UK and got introduced to people and they normally said yes.


When I got my first role over here, I reached out on LinkedIn to CMO’s and MD’s across the region and they said yes. In the various roles that I have had over here and in my current role, I reach out on LinkedIn and people generally say yes. There is a willingness to meet in general and a positivity here that I never found to this extent in London.


5. Singapore is an easy place to meet up


In the UK, it would often be months before people would meet with you and when they did, it would take hours to get there and that was just across London. If you reached out to people outside of London and into the northern cities, it would take even longer.


In Singapore, I can walk to most meetings or my meeting can walk to me. People can decide to meet you tomorrow and it will take five minutes to get there. Even meetings in places like KL and Jakarta can take less time to reach from Singapore than it took me to cross London or use the regional or national rail stations to reach potential clients in the UK.


6. People make decisions


One of the things I do love about Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Shanghai is that my clients tend to be very open and straight-talking. If they think we are too expensive, they tell us. If they want to cut a deal (which we do not do), they will ask.


They will also say if they wish to go ahead there and then which most do. There are exceptions; sometimes Asians do not wish to lose face and therefore when they realize that they cannot afford our services, they say they will think about it and will come back to us in a week/month/year when actually they mean never.


Reading these signals took me time but understanding them is crucial to ensure that you do not waste time but also that you allow your potential customer to save face.


7. There is an expat/foreigner/internationalist network


Whether people like it or not, expats buy expats, foreigners buy from foreigners, and locals buy from locals. This works to your advantage if you have a great network of contacts and are good at enhancing this network to grow it further.


As an outgoing expat or internationalist (as a friend of mine likes to call himself as he points out that he and I have no expat package and have no intention of going back to the UK, so therefore we are internationalists rather than expats or even just foreigners in another land), I find it easy to reach out to people and network.


What is the worst that can happen? They may not be interested. What is the best outcome? You may find a client, partner, associate, future employee, investor, media contact, fellow entrepreneur; the list is endless.


8. You get out what you put in


More than anywhere in the world I think Asia rewards hard work. There is no fallback; there is no unemployment benefit or sickness benefit; the government does not come to your aid if you are in trouble in any of the Asia-Pacific nations (with the exception of ANZ which has very similar way of life, government set-up, and outlook to the UK and Europe).


Therefore, the emphasis is on you to work and provide for yourself and your family. If you do not, no one else will. This is a great motivator to work hard. The harder you work, the more you put in, the more you succeed, the more you get out of.


I am not talking about working long hours for the sake of showing you are still at your desk which is a Singaporean custom but I am talking about smart working. However, if you do work hard then you do get rewarded financially, personally, spiritually whichever way you wish to be you can and will be.


9. Asia rewards entrepreneurs


I believe that Asia rewards entrepreneurs more than Europe. It is easier to create and set up a company in Singapore certainly than London. The environment is more pro-business; there are no strikes or unions, no real red tape or barriers to entry.


Anyone can be an entrepreneur in Asia. There are amazing incentives to being one. Low personal and corporation taxes, zero tax on dividends, many financial and other government and trade body incentives, online assistance and a willing, educated, motivated workforce, and amazing logistics.


It is also easier to reach out to potential clients here, to network and to work with other entrepreneurs. It is just basically a more positive business environment in which to do business.


10. Business events


There are more business events here in Singapore than in any other place I have ever experienced. I could literally go to an event every day and every night here in Singapore. There are some amazing business and marketing events and some fantastic networking events, morning, noon, and night.


It is an amazing place to network and learn from engaging content and meet interesting people. It is not just marketing events, it is every kind of event. The BritCham puts on 100 events a year, the AmCham 250 events. There are business events of all kinds covering all industries catering for every business and every executive.

Globalization and technological advancements has transformed the world into a small place. Multinational companies have leveraged this to optimally expand their footprints across the globe. The sheer speed of globalization and technological advancements have metamorphosed the world into a small place. Multinational companies have leveraged this to expand their footprints across the globe. Most of them are looking at developing across countries because of the available pool of young, educated candidates. Job seekers too are moving across borders in search of more sophisticated roles and greater opportunities. While the benefits to employers are clear, this trend is not without its shortcomings.


Companies have to become more cautious due to the recent surge in crime and fraud. First Advantage has found that, to avoid any unwarranted and compromising situations, more companies in Asia Pacific are now screening their employees. Even though the concept of background screening is relatively new in the region, it is picking up rapidly pace. Accepting it as a best practice, more employers are making background screening an integral part of their recruitment process.


Unlike reference checks, background screening is a complex process that involves multiple stakeholders, including education institutes and former employers. Other challenges include local, national and international legislation around anticorruption, data privacy, and consumer protection. These can quickly muddle the screening process, making it a challenge to efficiently perform a background check, especially if the candidate has lived or worked in several countries.


In Asia-Pacific, most employers conducted an average of five checks as part of every background screening request to First Advantage. In 2014, more than 67% of all candidates were subjected to five checks, as compared to 42% in 2013. This trend is particularly prevalent in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand where more than 50% of all candidates were subjected to six or more checks. Compare this to just 30% of candidates in China and Malaysia.


With the rise in crime, screening for criminal data has become a priority for many employers, although employment and education checks continue to top the list. Financial-related checks are also gaining popularity.


Launch of the Employee Discrepancy Trends Report


With the objective of helping employers better manage recruitment risk, First Advantage, a leader in background reporting in Asia-Pacific, has developed the Employee Discrepancy Trends Report to share employment screening trends in the region.


First Advantage offers comprehensive screening programs to more than 2,000 companies throughout Asia-Pacific. We have deployed state-of-the-art technology to ensure accuracy and reduce the time needed for these background checks. Our customer base includes the world’s largest financial services organizations, retailers, IT companies, BPO, manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies, and many others.


To help companies better understand what is happening at the macro and micro level within this prolific region, this report compiles our deep understanding of localized cultures and compliance requirements with detailed screening statistics gathered from our vast Asian customer base. It highlights fresh trends that employers can  use to fine-tune their existing screening practices and benchmark their current program results against others in the region. The report covers Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.


We continue to encourage our users to review this report as a background screening health check and a useful guide to make better hiring decisions.


You can receive a complimentary copy of the 2015 APAC Background Screening Trends Report when  you sign up for our webinar — Counting the Cost of a Wrong Hire: Nearly 1 in 5 CVs in APAC Contain Major Discrepancies in Employment Background Information.


Click here to register today!




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