What’s trending in HR tech in Asia?

By Scott Thomson, Chief Operating Officer, Links International

As a business we are always interested in what HR tech and practices our Asia-based clients are using, and more importantly, which ones are actually working well!Accordingly, as part of the research for Links International’s 2016 Asia Salary Snapshot, we asked Asia’s HR leaders which HR technologies and practices they used and which ones worked best.

Here are the 4 main trends:

  1. Singapore HR leaders are much more likely to rate new HR tech or practices as effective (up to 28% more likely).

The most interesting finding for me was that Singapore HR leaders were significantly more likely to rate HR technology or practices as effective than their Hong Kong counterparts.


I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Singapore HR leaders’ willingness to embrace new HR tech and practices is driven at least in part by the hugely supportive environment that the Singapore Government has created for innovation and technology in Singapore. For example, when comparing the incentives available to our business in Greater China and Singapore, the incentives in Singapore are 1) much more significant and, more importantly, 2) much more accessible.

Without wanting to stir up the HK vs Singapore debate, initiatives like the Productivity and Innovation Credit (essentially at least a 60% cash refund on eligible spend) and Capability Development Grant (up to 70% Government grants for qualifying spend) are hugely powerful in encouraging SMEs to step up their tech and practices to the next level without a huge financial or administrative burden.  As a result, for us as a business and Singapore HR leaders, these incentives enable you to be more willing to ‘take the plunge’ and risk adopting HR tech and practices due to the reduced cost and potential downside (hopefully worst case scenario!).

  1. What works? Payroll outsourcing, HR portals & video or digital interviews during recruitment processes

No surprises here with payroll outsourcing, use of HRIS/employee portals and video or digital interviews being some of the more conventional ways of transforming an HR function in a cost effective way.  The three HR tech or practices that respondents found most effective were (% of respondents who reported HR tech or practices as effective):

  • 81% Outsourcing of payroll or HR functions
  • 76% HRIS with ESS functionality for HR tasks
  • 75% Using Digital Interviews as part of the interview process
  1. What’s trending? Employee engagement tools, HR portals and digital interviews

In light of the huge focus in HR circles of the power of employee engagement or employee experience, over half of all HR leaders were focused on measuring employee engagement and presumably proving the impact of employee engagement.  The effectiveness of video or digital interviews, HRIS and employee portals ensured that they were also big favourites with HR leaders. The three most used HR tech and practices were (% of respondents who utilised HR tech or practices):

  • 61% Digital or Video Interviews
  • 53% HRIS with ESS functionality for HR tasks
  • 53% Regular measurements of Employee Engagement
  1. Left behind? Mobile friendly job applications, HR analytics, flexible leave and social recruiting

Consistent with the fear being spread with the recent ‘Mobilegeddon crisis’, a concerningly high 66% of respondents said they didn’t use mobile friendly job application process despite approximately 50% of job search traffic coming from mobile devices!  Other interesting findings show that 67% of respondents had not yet adopted any predictive HR or workforce analytics in Asia.  The least used HR tech and practices were(% of respondents who reported tech or practices as least utilised)

  • 66% Mobile-friendly job application processes
  • 67% Predictive HR or workforce analytics
  • 68% Flexible leave practices
  • 58% Social media for recruitment

For more details on our HR Tech in Asia survey, check out our infographic below.

links international HR tech trends Asia

Interested in elevating your role through HR solutions or outsourcing payroll, visa or contract management?  Links International specialises in HR Outsourcing and Solutions in Asia – Get in touch with us now!