As Asia's tourism and hospitality sector struggles to cope with what now represents its worst staffing crisis in recent times, many employers are now being forced to rethink their staff selection criteria in order to ensure they can fill vacancies.
According to leading recruitment and executive search specialist TMS Asia-Pacific (TMS) the situation has resulted in a paradox for many of its Asian clients who are now dropping their overall criteria requirements - some by as much as 30 per cent - to secure staff.
TMS' Singapore-based General Manager Asia, Andrew Chan, said that many companies had taken the decision to rethink their selection criteria and fill empty job slots as quickly as possible rather than spend months looking for that elusive "perfect" candidate.
"Speaking from personal experience, I know of several companies who waited more than 12 months to fill a position - in today's busy business environment who really has the time to wait that long," he said.
The situation, he said, had been further exacerbated by the huge staffing demands now being fuelled by major casino and hotel developments taking place across the region - particularly in Macau and China.
Mr Chan cited several recent ‘head-hunting' missions in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore by Macau hotel and casino interests.
These, he said, have resulted in hundreds of experienced Asia-based staff being poached to work in the hotels and casinos comprising Macau's soon-to-be opened Cotai Strip which even in pre-official opening mode is now drawing more revenue than Las Vegas.
"It's the same in China where event organisers and hotel management have already created a staffing ‘vacuum' for their Asian neighbours as the country's gears up to host the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
"The construction of more than 150 first-class hotels across the country is placing further pressure on the region and recruiters are looking even further afield to engage qualified staff for their Chinese clients," he said.
Mr Chan said Singapore's status as a source of highly-qualified, bi-lingual candidates made the country an obvious target.
The Macau/China-led recruitment push, he said, was also having a marked effect in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines where the hospitality industry has seen many of its lower level, highly customer service-oriented staff lured overseas by attractive remuneration packages.
About TMS TMS is a top-tier specialist travel, tourism and hospitality recruitment and HR services company based in Singapore. The company's overseas operation includes offices in five Australian state capitals, Auckland, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai. For more information visit:www.tmsap.com