Recruiting the Best Talent in Pakistan?


Pakistan is one of the emerging markets in global economies, especially considering the One Belt One Road initiative; also referred as CPEC. In recent years, many overseas companies have entered Pakistan, established their setup from the scratch and experienced immense growth with great market response. As an overseas company, having no presence in Pakistan, it is imperative to understand the local landscape of business industry, culture, market practices and importantly having an insight on your competition. Now the question arises, how would you attain all such information? Definitely, you cannot rely on Internet and Online data all the times, so you need first hand and structured information. For all this to happen, you need a local market partner or a consultant to provide all the details and insights before you work out a swift rollout strategy.

Who do you contact?

HR Business Solutions Pvt Ltd., also referred as HRBS is the business partner you need for all your professional Human Resource and business consultancy needs. They have radical experience of management consultancy and market intelligence for resolving complex business enigmas. Their professional and experience team provides quick and customized quality solutions based on all your requirements. They can mold the traditional HR areas with the new and customized solutions to resolve all your market intelligence and business challenges.
Recruitment, Trainings, Market Intelligence, Cultural transformation, and Management Consultancy are the areas where they are experts.

Recruiting for an Overseas Company in Pakistan:

One of China’s leading retail company were to enter Pakistan in 2017.  They had presence in many other countries at that time but didn’t had any single staff working in the local market, let alone having an operational retail outlet. Their brand was a hot cake in all other markets. They had adopted and expanded into other countries with a global business strategy. At the time of entering in Pakistan, they had defined annual targets for expanding business locally. However, the HR strategy was yet to be devised and aligned with business goals to support achieving them. The dynamics of Pakistan’s market were much different and the management quickly realized the variances in culture, competition, pay structure, rising inflation, religious sensitivity and many volatile aspects that formulate the entire market dynamics. So, they decided to understand the local market’s landscape first before stepping into the field.

That is where HRBS got engaged as a Consultant, and developed a Market Intelligence report for the client before laying out a comprehensive HR strategy to support business expansion.

Talent acquisition strategy:

Talent acquisition aspect is one of the most important modules in a HR strategy, especially for a new venture in an overseas environment. In order to attract the best talent from the industry, it is essential to offer a market competitive compensation package. Unlike some developed countries, the pay which you get at month’s end matters’ more here; than an organizational culture, growth or the company’s leadership. Considering this case, neither the people knew about company’s leadership nor about the brand itself because there was nothing on ground apart of opening up 30 stores in one year.

In this regard, HRBS team worked closely with company’s management and provided a detailed report on market insights based on salary levels, talent mapping, cultural diversity, key positions, competition analysis and many other aspects. Best practices of leading retail brands were benchmarked and improvise to gain competitive edge.

As a consultant and headhunting partner for client, HRBS developed a complete HR Talent Acquisition strategy; which was based on local market’s dynamics. For any business, the most important role is of Business Development and Sales Staff. All other staff & department work around them as a support team. Without having any business leads and Sales, no company can grow or sustain. So, for this, following questions were addressed to hire quality Business development & Sales Managers:ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

  1. From which Companies and Brands, recruitment is to be done?
  2. What compensation to offer along with benefits?
  3. What sources of recruitment to be used?
  4. Either to adopt global culture or localize?
  5. How to retain the talent?

The recruitment approach was to target talent working in specific brands from the same industry. This was due to multiple reasons, few among them were to:

  • gain insights of rival brands without doing extensive market research & intelligence
  • familiar with strengths and weaknesses of their current employer
  • such human capital is well equipped with local industry dynamics
  • clear understanding of work and business, so less training is required

Once the talent mapping from specific brands was done, a market survey was conducted to provide basis of developing a compensation strategy and structure. Since the company had no presence in the local market and neither among the locals were familiar with it, except a very few who travel a lot overseas, so it was a daring challenge to attract good & qualified talent. Therefore, in order to tempt the best talent, it was decided to offer more than the competition. Coincidentally, with recent rise in inflation & price hikes in the country, it wasn’t much difficult to attract the best talent from the rival brands by offering much better benefits and salaries. Applicant turnover was appeasing and more than what had been expected.

Shortlisting and interviews were done and within a timeframe of one month all eight department head positions were filled. All of them came from direct competition. The best catch was the sourcing channels used in this talent acquisition approach. After placement of top tier’s positions, a reference based program was introduced in which if any staff refers a candidate for any position from relevant industry and rival brands, they would be rewarded with some incentive. Now in a race for this incentive, HR team got its hands on quality resumes from industry and built a strong data base for future needs. It also signifies the importance of a recruiting strategy. Once the top tier was hired with a structured approach and methodology, then by applying a trickle-down effect; through the introduction of internal referral based hiring program, other positions were aligned automatically with the business objectives. 

The purpose of using this approach was to allow the top tier leadership to contribute further for on job training and enhancing skillsets of new recruits. As they all had come from the competitors, and they understand the market business dynamics better, so they can then mentor, coach and train their teams with the required skill set mandatory for achieving the company goals.

Lastly in the consultancy report, HRBS had recommended to align the incentives of Sales and Business development staff with Sale numbers and development of new sale channels. Company went on to not only achieve its annual business targets but also became the fastest growing retail brands in the country. Due to comprehensive background screening of candidates before onboarding them, there were no major cases of misconduct or forgery.

Based on the great work of team HRBS, client company recommended them to many other overseas firms which were about to expand in Pakistan.