Economies Still Lead Global Growth Rates
Despite softening growth rates, the Asia-Pacific region remains the leader for global growth.
Despite short-term headwinds from the global economy, Southeast Asia will strengthen its global production base. The six core countries in the region – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Hong Kong – accounted this year for 31% of the global economy, compared to 23% a decade ago. The region will continue to rise in its economic significance, with three of the world’s four largest economies by purchasing power parity — China, India and Japan.
According to the latest estimates of the IMF, China has become the world’s largest economy. China’s commercial ties continue to increase with virtually every country in the region, in contrast to the anemic growth in Europe.
Massive turnaround in India
China remains the powerhouse in the region despite an expected drop in annual output expansion to 7% by 2016. India has seen a massive turnaround in its outlook in the last six months, reflecting its pro-reform government’s commitment to put the Indian economy back on a fast growth path. We expect over the next few years to see real GDP gains in India approach those of China.
The region’s outlook for 2015 cannot be complete without talking about the rapidly declining global oil price and its benefits for the region which is a net oil importer. With each one of the regional economies importing over a half of their oil needs, the price drop will greatly benefit their consumers and industries.
How does all this buoyancy translate for us in business terms?
Overall, we are optimistic that the insipid and patchy improvements to the economy of the Asia Pacific region that characterized 2014 will gradually strengthen through 2015. The revival and growth of the recruitment cycle is predicated on sequential growth in economic indicators. One strong predictor of gathering momentum is market sentiment which, in the major regional markets, perhaps with the exception of Australia, is upbeat.
While hiring growth is expected to be robust across the sectors, IT, healthcare, pharma, manufacturing, engineering and retail could be the primary drivers followed by telecom, FMCG and financial services.
A major trend emerging on the horizon that will impact businesses and talent alike across the globe is the rapid spread of the digital economy. All of us today live in an interconnected global village.
Impact of Digital Economy
At the macro level, the digital economy is tasked with solving increasingly difficult problems with fewer resources – material, human and otherwise – than ever before. Yet most of our work is still being done through legacy structures and antiquated processes that cost valuable time and money.
Digital businesses will impact jobs in many different ways. By 2018, according to Gartner, digital businesses will require 50 percent fewer business process workers. However, by the same year digital business will drive a 500 percent boost in digital jobs.
Finding the right talent to do these digital jobs will be a challenge for companies as well as for search consultants. Employers are increasingly using an external workforce (e.g., free agents, or the crowd) to get work done on-demand. Crowd-sourcing and micro-tasking provides access to a vast network of experts, letting you expand your resources when you need them and solve big problems faster.
The Demands of Digital
From our perspective, it is imperative that our search consultants become proficient in the demands of a digital enterprise if they are to partner clients in providing them a value-add in their hiring decisions. Our job is to push our client’s thinking, make them better leaders and help them make the right hiring decisions. If our client knows that we are invested in their success, they will accept our challenges, because they will know we are trying to help them.
Cornerstone will continue the tradition of becoming trusted advisors and thought partners to our clients, because we have found that gaining buy-in to our ideas is as much about listening and reacting to our clients as it is about selling.
Cornerstone stands to benefit as the Asia-Pacific region becomes the vanguard of global economic and social development. We have the opportunity to ensure that future progress is firmly anchored around our core principles and goals of thought leadership, the speed and quality of delivery and trusted partnership with clients.
The time has come to reach out and seize the future.
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