The Southeast Asia region will see a hiring spree in 2013, with more than 90 percent of employers in Singapore stating that they are definitely hiring or at least looking to maintain their current headcount.
To hire or not to?
Recruitment companies will be receiving more businesses as a result of the hiring. However, that very fact signals the start to a hectic race for talents while concurrently managing demands for rising salaries and benefits. The competition for talent makes it tougher for business owners to decide if they should stretch their resources by recruiting newer and possibly more expensive employees.
In this region, the decision is made more costly when companies hire expats.
The intangible costs involved in hiring are also a barrier to expansion. Such intangible “costs” involve time as well as money. There are a few factors to consider during expansion:
These intangible “costs” will be quite a burden especially if the roles of the new staff are not of a revenue-generating nature but are essential for the smooth running of day-to-day operations. Nevertheless, businesses – in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are not seeking to increase their headcount – may struggle to expand with their time and energy spread too thin balancing between generating profits and handling non-profitable administrative tasks.
Riding the regional growth wave
It’s worth remembering that the choices available to businesses are not restricted to long-term resource investments or remaining stagnant. There’s another option available – outsourcing.
Businesses are already doing this in many aspects of their operations – from having someone design their website to having a lawyer deal with contracts. Business owners should consider having other non-core aspects of their business handled externally to free up management time needed to execute revenue-generating activity or exploring new markets.
Research conducted by Regus asked business owners about their biggest challenges faced when entering new markets and 60 percent of companies (and 63 percent of SMEs) cited issues like property and paperwork as their main challenges.
This is one reason why so many companies and startups outsource their property needs. By providing a fully-equipped office space, most staffing needs are already taken care of. With receptions for walk-in enquiries, administrative, security, and facilities management all provided and included in the price of the workspace managed by virtual office space providers, businesses are immediately relieved from doing these tasks on their own or face the need to employ non-essential staff. This will lead to an increase the amount of time the business spends on generating revenue.
The added gain of flexibility
In addition to allowing businesses to outsource non-core tasks, using flexible workspaces builds greater flexibility into a company’s business planning.
Companies that already have an office can also save costs by outsourcing for other required functions such as meeting venues, business centre facilities and video conferencing requirements to name a few. These functions need not be factored into the initial business startup costs and can be used when required through flexible work options such as those provided by virtual office space providers.
At a time where companies in the region are hesitant to put in action their plans for growth due to the global uncertainty, this flexibility is invaluable. They can choose between expanding their footprint, moving to a more centralized business address or benefit from externally-engaged services and support functions without being forced to commit to long-term arrangements or investments.
By reducing the risks and overheads incurred during growth, the adoption of flexible working acts as a springboard for further expansion. This benefit will not only be enjoyed by startups and SMEs, larger companies looking to expand to newer and more lucrative markets will be able to profit as well.
Growth is always going to involve making difficult decisions. However, outsourcing non-core jobs and requirements which allows you to pay only for what you use can saves costs and in turn facilitate growth.