Hiring in Indonesia: Caution and holistic view of work to prevail

Eric Mary, Country Manager of Robert Walters Indonesia

As the COVID-19 situation came under control in 2022, companies in Indonesia had more confidence to hire again. Eric Mary, Country Manager of Robert Walters Indonesia, notes, “This was especially so in logistics, shipping, mining, chemicals, agriculture and fintech. Sentiments have also been positive in the commodity energy sector and mining industry, which have benefitted from rising commodity prices.”

“The effects of Indonesia’s omnibus law – which aims to attract foreign investment – also kicked in as we saw more international businesses entering the market over the past year,” he adds.

On the flip side, Eric points out, “The tech ecosystem has been held back by issues around financial cashflows. The delays to fundraising rounds have affected recruitment for technical roles, and even led to hiring freezes and layoffs in the industry. A good number of FMCG organisations also underwent restructuring.”

One final trend for 2022 was how prominent flexible and remote work arrangements have become. “Candidates have been shown to leave their jobs because their companies did not offer flexible work arrangements,” Eric reveals.

Caution ahead for 2023

Eric expects caution to be a key theme for the hiring market in 2023. “Amidst talks of an incoming global recession and layoffs and hiring freezes in the tech industry, job seekers will be more risk adverse. We expect candidates will keep a lookout for companies that are financially stable,” he says.

Nevertheless, according to Eric, the push for digitalisation will continue in the coming year, and there are sectors that will remain active – like fintech. “We expect that it will be less challenging for companies to retain talent and with a lower turnover, there may be less of a need to hire. Against all uncertainties, companies can win candidates over if they can showcase stability and meaningful values. Flexible and remote work arrangements are also a big plus as this will continue to be heavily requested by candidates in 2023,” he expresses.

Stand out through emotional intelligence 

“In 2023, companies will seek out candidates with regional experience to support businesses as they expand abroad. Candidates who are adaptable and avid learners will also have an advantage. They should also possess strong emotional intelligence so they can build rapport and trust with their teams and senior stakeholders,” Eric recommends.

This emotional intelligence extends to personal branding, particularly online. “Candidates and companies alike should be mindful of their digital presence, as the younger generation is very savvy with social media and data. Where candidates uncover information about potential employers online, hiring managers are also conducting their due diligence on candidates’ social media profiles,” he says.

Technical skillsets that will see heavy demand in 2023 include public policy and government relations, cybersecurity, R&D, diversity and inclusion, risk, compliance and M&A experience.

Retain talent in the new world of work

When it comes to employees’ changing expectations, Eric notes, “The events of recent years have prompted workers to reassess their relationships to work. Candidates no longer look at their jobs as just a source of income, but taking a more holistic view of how work shapes their identity and whether they can gain experiences and make purposeful contributions. They are also looking more closely at how they can do well at work, while also maintaining mental and physical wellbeing.”

To retain talent in 2023, he advises companies to “recognise that the human side of work is now critical. Have proactive conversations with your teams; hear their concerns and help them identify what is important to them. Then implement actions to resolve these issues so employees are empowered to achieve their best.”

“Lastly, besides our usual advice of providing talent with clear career plans and well-rounded packages, companies need to step up their employer branding. A polished employer brand is now key to attracting talent,” he highlights.

Expected salaries in 2023

In Indonesia, Eric expects “salaries to increase by 20% to 30% on average due to inflation. Higher increases are expected for niche positions and skillsets.”

Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about key hiring trends across industries in Indonesia.

Access the latest
Salary Survey 2023 


Upload your vacancy 


Discover more
career insights 


Explore hiring advice