Sourcing Candidates In Asia In The Year Of The Goat

2015 is the year of the Goat.  According to the Chinese Horoscope Calendar, this year will bring about further stabilization in the world economy and focus on growth, particularly here in Asia.  Many companies are making direct investments via setting up regional offices, and/or, aggressively seeking strategic alliances and companies to partner with.

A few years ago, I wrote a piece on why its difficult to find people in Asia (this case study was done on Japan).  The main gist of the article was that one of the main challenges companies face when trying to staff their offices is locating (sourcing/finding) qualified talent using English only sites like LinkedIn.  Companies relying too much on internal recruiters, job posting boards like Glassdoor, or, global staffing agencies will continue to have problems in retaining good people.

For leadership positions in Sales, Marketing, HR or other functions, the best candidates come from personal networks, that has always been the case but even more so in Asia.  Social Networking sites are geared for English-native speakers.  Even people who have developed a fairly high-level of fluency in English still prefer to view their content in their native tongues.  Thus only a small percentage of people in Asia actually use SNS for business for the reason above and cultural considerations as well.

Finding the right people means partnering with the right staffing or consulting firm that takes its time and has regional expertise in Asia to bring the right people to your table.


Howard Ichiro Lim is a Tokyo, Hong Kong and San Francisco based consultant and executive search professional working and splitting his time between the US and Asia.  You can find out more about him through his LinkedIn profile or contacting him at

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