The 7 Benefits of Borderless Hiring in Southeast Asia

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Tapping into the benefits of borderless hiring with a ready talent pipeline from Asian countries helps global companies to reduce talent shortages and create new market opportunities.

One company that has significantly benefited from borderless hiring is Buffer, a social media management platform whose clients include Microsoft and Business Insider; with just a team of 85 people spreading across seven different time zones, they are now able to respond to customer inquiries 24/7 around the clock 1. 

1. The change in mobile workforce

Working from home or even anywhere has become a norm in most developed countries. Before 2019, only about 5% of the US workforce worked from home compared to 30% currently, which the WFH trend skyrocketed to 61.5% during the global pandemic period 2.

Due to the changed work trend, nearly 1 million city residents left New York and San Francisco as they are no longer required to travel or are traveling less to the office, adopting the hybrid work model.

The property values in suburban areas have increased when the work environment becomes the worker's home, and many are looking for larger homes as better home offices.  

McKinsey's study estimates that by 2030, the global talent pool will increase by 50%, with emerging economies estimated to account for 80% of this growth. Thus, organizations that embrace borderless hiring will have access to a broader and more diverse talent pool.


2. Access to a global talent pool

Global companies might experience a talent shortage for longer than anticipated, even if the economy slows, which is happening in the United States. Employers across different city states are not able to find the employees they want even when the economy is recuperating.

For instance, 3 million more job vacancies in 2022 were needed to be filled in compared to 2020. However, the workforce gap has reached 4.3 million 3 between workers searching for a job and unfilled positions. In other words, despite the economic uncertainties, people in the US are choosing to leave the workforce as quits are 600,000 higher in Oct 2022 compared with February 2020. 

If employers continue the traditional way of seeking candidates, the talent shortage issue will not be resolved sustainably. Diverting the attention to Asian countries to hire diverse candidates could potentially attract a 23 million ready talent pipeline from the non-traditional labor market, such as remote employees. 


3. Ready Southeast Asia young professionals to power your business

How capable are Southeast Asia employees in terms of their skill sets and potential to grow your business? Here is the answer from a comprehensive study of the World Economic Forum with 56,000 young ASEAN citizens across 6 SEA countries 4. 

There is a strong desire for these respondents to work for technology companies, and the percentage of interest in working for a tech firm has doubled from the current tech workers. In contrast, the preference to work with the manufacturing and construction industry has declined. 

Creativity, innovation, language skills, and the capability to use technology such as e-commerce and social media are the 3 essential skills the respondents are eager to improve. Both findings suggest that innovative industries, such as technology firms, should consider hiring this group of potential SEA candidates remotely. 

Furthermore, 52.4% are aware of the impact of the fourth industrial revolution and believe that they must upgrade their skills accordingly and embrace a high growth mindset of lifelong learning to change, and 46.4% are interested in exploring overseas working opportunities in 3 years' time. 

With an EOR, you can hire these talents remotely and pay them in their local currencies accordingly, taking advantage of the attractive cross-border exchange rate.


4. Improved productivity and efficiency

If your company has concerns about whether team members who work remotely full time can help to boost business productivity and increase work efficiency, here is a study by Stanford with 16,000 call centre employees worldwide from a NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency, Ctrip, over a 9-months of WFH experiment study. 

The Stanford study revealed that working from home increased productivity by 13%, where employees could work more minutes per shift by taking fewer breaks and sick leaves 5.

Besides that, employees who work remotely for a call centre like this were able to attend to 4% more calls per minute in a quieter working environment. Both have helped improve work satisfaction and decreased turnover rates by 50%. 

5. Growing rapidly

To maximize the cost savings in borderless hiring, mainland Southeast Asia is on the rise to welcome the demand for remote working and cross-border jobs. 

According to an interview from Bloomberg, companies have realized they can no longer rely on local talents in hiring. Companies based in Singapore have started recruiting large technology teams, especially senior tech talents in high demand from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

Grab is an example of a Singapore company that has expanded very quickly in Indonesia, valued at $40 billion as of 2021. Grab understands the importance of localizing the services to develop payment options that cater to local customers, including partnerships with local e-wallet providers. 

The growth potential of Indonesia is attributed to its surging growth of 10 places in the World Digital Competitiveness Ranking from 2018 to 2022. Indonesia is now ahead of Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and the Philippines. 

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6. Increased diversity and Inclusion

The last but not least benefit of borderless hiring in Southeast Asia is its potential to improve your company's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by building a diverse workforce with remote workers all over SEA. 

76% of Harvard Business School alums in senior executive positions believed that companies that diversify hiring improve the organization's financial performance 6

In an experiment for tech employees to work together to solve new challenges, the group with the most diverse background individuals completed the tasks much faster than the group from the homogeneous background.

Cognitive diversity is essential for tech companies and businesses to scale fast in a complex, uncertain, and constantly changing business situation. 

Offering remote jobs in Southeast Asia is a perfect option to build a diverse talent pool with an inclusive company culture that fosters work collaboration by cognitive diversity talents.

7. Borderless Hiring without an entity

Hiring employees to work remotely in Southeast Asia reduces massive costs, such as office space and operational costs. In addition, enjoy the benefits of paying attractive salaries according to the country's rate. 

Are you ready to kickstart your Southeast Asia hiring journey? 

Get a FREE demo with a customized solution for your hiring plans today. 

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Featured Content

1. How HR Analytics Help With Talent Performance

2. The Top HR Challenges in Southeast Asia 2023

3. Recruitment Trends Moving Forward 2023


  1. Top 3 benefits of a borderless workforce. Oct 2021. HSBC.
  2. Golf, rent, and commutes: 7 impacts of working from home. March 2023. Stanford report.
  3. Shorter for longer: Navigating the taut talent tightrope amid economic uncertainty. January 2023. McKinsey..
  4. ASEAN Youth Technology, Skills and the Future of Work. 2019. World Economic Forum.
  5. Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment. March 2013. Standard Business School of Graduate.
  6. Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case. December 2020. Harvard Business Review.
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