Boyden Executive Survey

Talent-led transformation in a post-pandemic world: Asia-Pacific

How can global business leaders deliver on ambitions of growth and reinvention?

Executive Summary

In this regional analysis of Boyden's global report, Talent-led transformation in a post-pandemic world, we highlight findings and trends in Asia-Pacific with sector insight from Boyden partners.

Business confidence in Asia-Pacific is broadly strong, with forecasts for GDP growth in 2022 at 5.7%. Variations across the region, involving Covid vaccine access, potential new variants, policy shifts, weak domestic demand, reliance on exports, supply bottlenecks and inflation, result in growth forecasts ranging from 3.2% in Japan and Singapore to 8.5% in India.

Our study data show the majority of respondents, 70%, are very confident/confident in their organisation’s growth potential through 2022, with 74% of all respondents in growth or expansion mode.

However, confidence in having the right talent to align with organisational strategy is much lower, with just 44% very confident/confident. Leaders are having to reinvent talent, which means revising talent strategies, investment, performance measurement, and the cultural environment.

Lack of alignment goes up to board level. Half of respondents believe a different matrix of skills is needed on the board. However, only a third of respondents expect to invest in board assessment, compared to 38% globally and 45% in North America.

Leadership development for high potentials is the top priority for investing in talent. Respondents in this region then place more emphasis on redeploying or retraining existing people than on hiring new talent. This correlates with concerns around recruitment, the increasing use of flexible, competency-based teams and more interim solutions.

Nevertheless, there is an ongoing need for new talent, with 41% of respondents expecting an increase in hiring, particularly into operations roles, matched by a perceived need for more operational skills on the board.

How can organisations attract the best talent? Respondents point to a strong company reputation, purpose, and workplace of the future.


Consumer & retail participants are more confident than the average, with 78% very confident/confident in their organisation’s growth potential. This sector is more likely to hire more diverse and more globally focused executives. It is also the sector giving the most consideration to new approaches to measuring executive performance.

Industrial respondents are the least confident, with 58% very confident/confident in their organisation’s growth potential. They are less likely to hire new leaders and more likely to hire interim managers. Talent retention is expected to be most challenging in the industrial sector.

Professional services is the most bullish sector, with 84% very confident/confident in their organisation’s growth prospects. Yet it is also the sector with the greatest disparity in confidence: Only 37% are very confident/confident in having the right talent to align with strategy. Talent recruitment is expected to be most challenging in professional services, perhaps explaining why this sector places the highest emphasis on leadership assessment/ development.

<< Compare to Global Study >>

We explore these findings further across five core themes: 

  1. A barometer on confidence 
  2. The right talent
  3. Hiring priorities 
  4. Reinventing the board
  5. Talent look ahead 

Throughout this report, under the segment 'A closer look', we highlight key sector and leadership insights from Boyden experts across Asia-Pacific.

[1] S&P Global Ratings, Economic Outlook Europe Q4 2021: A Faster-Than-Expected 


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