Tech talent demand in Southeast Asia up amidst digital transformation

Tech talent demand in Southeast Asia up amidst digital transformation

Startups and enterprises drive sustained need for innovative tech solutions.

The demand for tech talent in Southeast Asia continues to surge, driven by digital transformation across traditional industries and the relentless expansion of venture-backed startups. 

Puay Lim Yeo, Managing Director of Glints, said that the trend toward digital transformation has been pivotal, especially within sectors such as banking, finance, media, and retail. 

"There's already been a trend towards digital transformation in the past number of years," Yeo stated, underlining the transformative wave sweeping across midsize and large enterprises. 

He said that this shift is not only enhancing operational efficiencies but also spurring the demand for skilled tech professionals capable of driving these innovations.

Further bolstering the tech talent demand is the startup ecosystem, which, despite experiencing challenges, continues to attract venture funding, necessitating rapid regional expansion and the scaling of development teams. 

Yeo emphasised the role of regionalization, particularly in e-commerce, where companies like a Chinese e-commerce giant are building significant tech teams in countries like Vietnam to support their data interpretation needs.

Glints' 2024 Southeast Asia talent report sheds light on the evolving requirements of tech talent, with an emphasis on critical and creative thinking. This shift is largely attributed to the rise of artificial intelligence, which automates routine tasks, thereby increasing the value of higher-order skills such as problem-solving and innovative thinking. 

Economic uncertainties further fuel this trend, with startups seeking adaptable generalists capable of multi-tasking under changing conditions.

In addressing how startups can retain talent, Yeo pointed to the normalisation of hybrid work structures post-COVID-19, which blend remote and in-office arrangements. Flexibility has emerged as a top consideration for young professionals, shaping how businesses structure their work environments.

"Flexibility is top of mind for many young talents today," Yeo remarks, emphasising the importance of adapting to these expectations to attract and retain skilled workers.

Hybrid work models, incorporating both time and space flexibility, are becoming increasingly relevant. Glints observes a trend towards colocated work, where employees gather in hubs a few days a week to foster team building and cultural cohesion, without completely abandoning the benefits of remote work.

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