The First Word: Winning in talent acquisition in a highly competitive job marketplace

THE FIRST WORD: Huong Nguyen, head of employer branding for APAC at Luxoft, talks about the key to attracting the best and brightest talent in Asia-Pacific.


The global workplace dynamic has undergone a whirlwind of change in recent years. Post-pandemic, employees from entry-level to the C-suite have been leaving their jobs in droves to look for a better work-life balance. This worldwide phenomenon, coined the “Great Resignation”, is putting pressure on employers in a competitive job market where companies are vying to attract and retain top talent.

How can they hold on to their top talent? What would it take to attract the best and brightest? An answer may lie in employer branding. A relatively new concept in the Asia Pacific region, employer branding is well-established in the US and Europe. With the right employer branding strategy, a company can position itself as a desirable proposition for potential job seekers. This includes publicizing the value that a company promises to provide to its future employees: great benefits, work-life balance, and career development, among others.

However, employer branding must work in conjunction with departments such as talent acquisition, human resources, as well as learning and development in order to win and retain top talent in a competitive market.

Challenges in winning over talent

Today’s young and well-informed workforce looks for more than just a good compensation package. They increasingly recognize that they have the freedom and power to choose the company that they want to work for. This is why employers need to position themselves as a great place to work and have internal systems and structures in place to attract the best in the industry. Top talents will want to associate with leading enterprises. Only when employees feel invested in a company will attrition rates drop.

Moreover, job seekers nowadays are fully equipped with online research tools, and they can conduct background checks on employers. Potential candidates look for comments and feedback from past employees and others on social media platforms and employer review sites such as If a company does not have a strong employer brand, demonstrate concern for employee welfare, or provide training and development, it immediately lacks credibility.

Hiring and retention

In other words, employer branding by itself is not sufficient. It is important that, at the talent acquisition stage, the company finds a match with a candidate’s vision. From an HR perspective, it is important that talent that has been hired feels engaged, receives the training and learning that offers career development opportunities, and can see a progression. When employees know that they can have successful career growth within a company, they typically do not change jobs often. And this brings down high employee churn.

By nature, companies with strong brands will attract more job applications. They do not need to invest much in the services of talent and recruitment firms. Good candidates will invariably send their job applications to top companies, and that can help reduce cost per hire. However, retaining talent is another matter altogether.

Engaging employees

No one can tell better stories than your own employees. They are the true brand ambassadors of a company. You treat people the way you want to be treated, and this applies to employer branding and talent retention as well. Treat your employees the way you want the company to be perceived in the job market. A reputation for being a good place to work starts with a satisfied workforce.

Employees should have the chance to share their testimonials about their experiences from the first day at work: what they feel about the workplace, whether they were happy with the onboarding process, and how the everyday experience at work has been for them. An employee’s personal view is always more engaging and is perceived more positively than when the company is the party sharing it.

Put yourself in employees’ shoes

This simply means that, as an employer, you need to know your employees’ expectations and try to fulfil those hopes at every stage in alignment with the company’s growth plans. The employee-workplace strategy should focus on career opportunities for progression, employee satisfaction, happiness, inclusivity, well-being, and balance. In today’s crowded market where every recruiter is trying to clone each other’s offerings to retain and attract talent, it is vital to have a clear employer branding strategy and internal processes that match the company’s mission and vision. This is a winning recipe for success in the competition to attract today’s talent.

About the Author


Huong Nguyen has more than 13 years of experience across various functions in HR, which includes talent acquisition, employer branding, communications, and marketing strategies. She’s known for her ability to make strategic decisions and execute them impeccably, with results across the APAC region. Currently, as the Head of Employer Branding APAC at DXC Luxoft, Huong manages regional project management, change management, people management, and building strong partnerships, along with the endeavour to make DXC Luxoft an employer of choice across APAC.


THE FIRST WORD is Chief of Staff Asia’s regular commentary, starting off every week with HR experts sharing their opinion on pressing issues. Do you have something to share with us? Email

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Chief of Staff Asia