Practitioners Perspectives // February 20,2021

Global Talent Trends and Perspectives on How Leaders Can Make a Difference in the Future

Featuring: Tatiana Ohm , Managing Director, Europe, AgileOne


Tatiana Ohm Managing Director, Europe, AgileOne

Having been in the talent business, how are you observing the changing needs of talent across Asia. And what can leaders learn from this?
There is a certain switch happening in the way businesses are being conducted these days. Today, everything revolves around data and digital, and this calls for more talent to be hired in this space. With the data and digital industry booming there is a lot of demand for the right and skilled talent to be filled up. However, there is a huge deficit of skilled workforce in this space.

As this is an emerging industry it is yet to head in the direction of skill development. And across Asia there are gaps in different pockets of this industry, for instance in Singapore, there is lots of investment in Fintech and finding ready talent is proving to be challenging. Also, organizations need talent that quickly scale up and deliver. That is another dimension to this problem, and if organizations are willing to spend time grooming the workforce that could be worthwhile.

With multiple generations within the workforce, there is a need for greater knowledge transfer between generations so that the experience of older generation gets leveraged upon those from the newer generations.

These are some of the trends that I am encountering when it comes to the talent demand and deficit across Asia.

Despite the proliferation of digital roles and responsibilities, most leaders recognize that their companies are not keeping pace with the speed of change in the digital world.


As leaders of digitally maturing organizations the need of the hour is to build: ‘Digital Congruence’ which is where the culture, people, structure, and tasks of an organization aligns to each other, and to the organization strategy and to the challenges of a digital landscape.

How are organization’s redefining the quality of talent they require?
There are many new trends coming up, and there are lot more opportunities these days, I would say. But what I see is, the shift in expectations related to management roles, and it is getting more and more complex. The skillset required of managers today is so different from even a few years back.

Today, leaders are expected to:
⦁ Coach teams and not just lead them
⦁ Build high performing teams and not just delegate
⦁ Develop strong execution skills and not just be task oriented
⦁ Think creatively to keep teams engaged than just working alongside
⦁ Adapt to change and be flexible and stop being obstinate
⦁ Bring about a culture of positivity and possibilities

This is how organizations are redefining the kind of talent they require. And it is critical for leaders to respond to these if they want to stay on top of their game.

How have you built your cross-cultural competence and what advice would you provide for other leaders in this space?
Right, I have my fair bit of exposure across the globe. And while I did try to equip myself with intercultural acclimatization courses, what I learnt working together as a team has had a huge impact on me.

Let me tell you this,” I am done” could mean completely different for each country. In some cases, completing the task exactly as per requirements could be possible, in many cases it could vary from mismatch of requirements and deliverable to totally missing the expectations.

So, business leaders thrown amid varying cultures and backgrounds must be on top of this. They must quickly understand these, navigate smartly through the maze of intercultural differences.

Simultaneously you must make yourself appealing to work with different audiences, while understanding others is key how you make yourself adaptable and relevant will be equally important.

In a world disintermediated by technology, how is talent acquisition transforming for the future?
Let me answer this in two ways:
Firstly, the intersection of Technology and Human Resources is at an interesting juncture. The scope has widened so much that there a multitude of search algorithms, automation, assessments, psychology, game-based tools, blended and cross functional education all coming together to make the hiring process simpler, faster, and more efficient. There are several HR Tech start-ups offering a plethora of possibilities. However, the final call lies with human intervention, at least that is the way I see it. The more we embrace technology tools and top it up with human call of action, then it would work out well.

Secondly, indeed Artificial Intelligence is making inroads and eliminating jobs. But at the same time these digital trends are also creating numerous job opportunities as well. There are so many jobs that did not exist even a couple of years ago, and this calls for employee upskilling and learning new things. Which is great I would say. Fact remains that, you cannot start in a role and retire in the same role, those days are gone. So, the good news is that if the young workforce is willing to learn, unlearn and relearn the future looks very bright for them.


What advice would you have for women leaders to thrive in a multicultural world and how can their ecosystem help in their quest?
For women leaders to develop and decipher the corporate world, firstly it starts with the self.

The desire to change and take your career seriously lies with every career woman. The organizations must necessarily give more opportunities and create a culture of inclusion.

Women are wired differently, and the more organizations are considerate to these, the better advantages they will have. And in this context, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In comes as a ready reckoner.

How have other leaders played a part in your leadership journey?
I have a bevy of mentors! Several leaders who have helped in my career all along. Venkat has helped me learn the value of being a coach in my leadership space.

Any thoughts/insights on how leaders move from good to great?
Well if there is one thing, that would be – don’t get too comfortable where you are. Of course, share your vision and ensure your teams align to it, and work on the team strengths and develop them.

As leaders, we need to keep educating ourselves and it is important to take time for yourself. And yes, be honest and transparent and have open dialogues with your team. What I love though is, being compassionate and supporting each other and that is so beautiful.

Tatiana Ohm Tatiana Ohm

Managing Director, Europe, AgileOne

Tatiana strongly believes in the philosophy of: compassion is the new cool. She is a leader who is willing to extend her support to her network. Though a science graduate, Tatiana chose to pursue a career in Recruitment and Direct Sales to begin with and later held a variety of leadership roles in four countries (Germany, Switzerland, Singapore & Austria).

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