indonesia talent management during the pandemic

Managing Indonesian Talent During The Pandemic – A Guide from Expert

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 18 August 2021
  • 6 minute reading time

During Covid-19, businesses in Indonesia have observed drastic changes in the way they operate. Hiring has been the most affected as there can be no walk-in interviews in the wake of the pandemic. In conversation with Mr. Siddharth Kumar – CEO of – a company that offers a pre-screened, flexible workforce to businesses, we observe the impact of covid-19 on Indonesia talent management.

The Current Scene of Indonesia’s Digital Economy

Cited from ‘Indonesia Consumption Baskṣet’ – a survey conducted by DBS Bank in December 2020 – the number of e-commerce customers in Indonesia increased to 66% after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country. In addition, Indonesia’s Central Bank, Bank Indonesia, also projected that digital transactions in the country will record a double-digit growth this year, with a notable acceleration is coming from digital banking and e-commerce transactions

With these promising prospects, coupled with many regulatory reforms going on in the country, Indonesia is becoming a sought-after destination for business owners and investors.

Q: What about Indonesia has attracted you to set up a business here?

The Indonesian economy is growing fast. Investors and businesses have realized the potential this archipelago has. And the number one problem faced by the growing businesses is manpower and hiring in Indonesia. Unlike white-collar workers, who are on LinkedIn or any other job portals, blue-collar workers are not on any platform, so companies find it hard to discover them.

Secondly, the blue-collar workers also face a lot of challenges, like they do not get paid fairly, or do not have insurance. There are over 75 million workers across our target verticals as per data from the BPS (Indonesia’s Statistic Agency).

Lastly, the current alternatives are all very manual, like conventional manpower agencies. They provide no transparency.

We are fulfilling the need for a full-stack on-demand manpower solution, that solves the issues of the enterprises and gives the workers not just a paychecks, but peace of mind as well.

Q: Could you share your point of view on what remains a hurdle when doing business in Indonesia?

Siddharth Kumar and his views on Indonesia Talent Pool“The Indonesian Government is taking a lot of proactive steps to improve the ease of doing business. This includes clarity in guidelines, providing transparency in the processes, improving system infrastructure, and also allowing companies to hire staff on a more flexible basis.”

Businesses have welcomed these changes. I will not call it a hurdle, but like with anything new, it is only natural for it to take some more time to increase awareness and adoption.

Indonesia Talent Management: Find The Right One Amidst The Pandemic

Most business professionals in Indonesia think that Work From Home arrangements have not much affected their productivity. However, according to the survey conducted by Robert Walters Consulting Group, they are increasingly distracted, less socially engaged, and have to make do without a proper office set-up.

Q: How do you ensure your company has managed this process to ensure one has the right Indonesian talent?

MyRobin team has grown 8 times since Mar 2020. 90% of the team has been hired remotely. This was unthinkable pre-COVID. It had been a challenge.

Building a successful team is already challenging, and if we had to do it right in the COVID era we had to look at the end-to-end process: first is recruitment, second is onboarding, third is integrating.

We have introduced cross-functional interviews during recruitment. This ensures that the ‘general’ DNA of the team is similar. The hiring manager makes the final call, but this has ensured that all teams have the same core values of – teamwork, innovation, and are not afraid of making mistakes.

As a part of onboarding, all of our Indonesia talent has been tagged to a mentor who is not from their team. This allows them a channel outside the formal reporting lines. This allows them to be more “frank” and allows the mentor to help and guide the staff.

Thirdly, our HR – Indri, truly believes that the team that eats together works well together. She has set up group lunches on Friday afternoons. The group is small of 3-4 people and Ardy or I make it a point to join these sessions. The small group allows for a deeper conversation – I now know the favorite football players of most of my team and which Korean actors they adulate most.

Q: How do you see Indonesian talent pool?

I will divide the Indonesia talent pool into 3 buckets:

  • White-collar workers (software Engineer, online Marketing, etc.),
  • Blue-collar workers (warehouse workers, couriers, waiters, etc.)
  • Others (e.g. Agriculture, Fisheries workers)

I have worked with graduates from the top universities from the US, UK, Singapore and I am proud to say that the Indonesian talent pool is second to none.

Companies are willing to invest in the white-collar workers; they have internal training, appraisals/feedback sessions; there is a career path set for these workers here.

On the other hand, blue-collar workers have different needs, and one size does not fit all. We see that much more can be done to meet the needs of the blue-collar workers, to upskill them with vocational skills that can help them to progress into better-paying jobs. Some training that we are building on our platform includes customer service, basic English to help upskill blue-collar workers.

Read More: Remote Work vs Distributed Workforce – Deciding The Future of Work

Ensuring Business Growth During and Beyond Pandemic

It would be no surprise that the heightened risk posed by the pandemic has led many companies to halt their hiring process. However, we can all agree that this situation cannot go on forever. At some point, when the outbreak has finally fizzled out, business professionals will turn their focus to revive business operations. At that point, investments in Indonesia talent will be more important than ever.

Q: As a leading on-demand, pre-screened, flexible workforce provider, how could your services continuously help businesses find the right Indonesian talent?

Verticals like logistics, e-commerce, warehousing have been on an accelerated growth trajectory during the pandemic. Post pandemic, other verticals like F&B, Hospitality, Retail, etc. will significantly see an increase in the demand.

We have a huge community of 2.5 million Indonesia talent in our outreach and we have been actively taking steps to prepare ourselves for the post-pandemic world, like:

  • Leveraging Technology & Assessments to continuously grow the pre-vetted pool of workers across Indonesia;
  • Building features on the platform that help both Enterprises and Workers
  • We are also opening Representative Offices in the bigger cities to build stronger client relationships.

Read More: How To Establish a Representative Office in Indonesia

Commence Your Business Amidst The Pandemic with Cekindo

Cekindo saves you a lot of trouble and time with a seamless company registration experience. Cekindo conducts due diligence and market research to rule out any loopholes. Our consultants readily aid you to obtain the necessary documents and licenses like business and import licenses. We also provide legal consultation and save you the management stress with our HR and recruitment services.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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