APAC Huddle – Great to be back!

Expat Academy APAC Huddle - Great to be back!  This was our first IN PERSON APAC huddle in THREE years… and I am delighted to say it didn’t disappoint! From brand new relationships and networks being formed to grand reunions (two members were reunited having not seen each other for 20 years!) it was a fantastic day in bringing the community back together. The venue (Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel) was fantastic too – one of the members in fact used to work at the hotel, albeit 20 years ago… it’s a small world!

To kickstart the day we jumped straight into some table discussions to enable people to get to know one another. The intros were quickly followed by the debating of some controversial statements focussing on ‘Streamlining, Sustainability and Survival’.  An interesting debate arose around sustainability, as whilst there are some quick, easy wins in order to do our bit i.e. reduce shipping of furniture, are companies actually considering the impact of such decisions further down the supply chain? What is happening with the furniture back home if assignees are renting? Is it going into storage? What’s the impact of storage on the environment? Something else to consider is that the rental furniture has to come from somewhere.  This leaves us with some food for thought…

  • Don’t just do what is easy, do what is right!
  • Review your organisation and do some internal benchmarking first to understand what you CAN do in the future.

AIRINC shared, based on a recent survey, from 77% of respondents that have a consistent companywide definition of sustainability, 66% have the environment as their top priority!

In summary companies in the region are not there ‘yet’ in terms of sustainability plans however we are certainly seeing a shift in the right direction.

As for surviving as a GM team there was a resounding vote that GM need to be advisors and build partnerships with both the business and employees to survive. Part of the relationship building (whether we like it or not) also requires GM learning to say NO… go on, try it!

Next followed a great discussion around the importance of a good relationship between client and vendor which we all agreed was like a marriage (and remember there is no easy divorce!) It’s important to remember that these relationships should not be transactional and together you need to look at the impacts of any decisions made and go above any beyond for your assignees. It’s about understanding and mutual respect. Here’s to a long and happy marriage.

Expat Academy APAC Huddle - Great to be back!  Magrath Sheldrick came to the rescue next with some great regional insights and updates, there was steam coming from the pens from all the note taking! Whilst APAC is slightly behind the rest of the world in terms of opening borders, most countries are now lifting restrictions. However China are still very cautious r and require two PCR tests (48 and 24 hours) prior to departure.  Top tip: check the embassy website for current travel policies and requirements as it is changing all the time!

Two key immigration changes to be aware of are the One Pass and the COMPASS framework. The ONE Pass (Overseas Networks & Expertise) which is to be introduced on 01 Jan 2023 (applicants earning at least S$30,000 per month or those with outstanding achievements across the fields of arts & culture, sports, science & technology, research and academia may be eligible).  The COMPASS Framework – a new points-based evaluation framework is expected to be rolled out by September 2023. Watch this space!

For full insights into the changes and trends shared take a look in the vault.

What would we do without Magrath Sheldrick LLP?!

Prior to the final huddle session of the day we were delighted to be joined by Dawn and Serene to tell us all things ‘Uber’ – they were quick to highlight that they in fact rely on their vendors as true partners, who provide a consistent level of delivery (so hopefully a happy marriage there). They enlightened us on there 2022 priorities consisting of the three pillars (Operational effectiveness, Employee Experience and Building Trust in the organisation) as well as their focus for 2023, which built on the earlier conversations in the day around Sustainability, alongside a review of relocation policies.

We then headed into the last huddle session of the day where we discussed; Policy Evolution, Technology Integration, The Changing Face of Assignments and we just about squeezed in a brief discussion around what professionals within the region will be focussing on in the coming months.

The talent crunch and the need for organisations to explore how they can be more creative in terms of relocating talent is high up on the hit list. Companies also recognise they need to provide employees with greater opportunities… which in turn links to leveraging technology to enable companies to do more with less. A final key focus area is good old policies with organisations looking to review (and redesign as required) policies ensuring that they are ‘fit for purpose’.

We came up for air (and food) a lot during the day but there was certainly never a dull moment! Until next time.

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