Seaage Annual Conference 2019: Early Talent in Asia: the what, the how, the why and the agenda for change

SEAAGE Annual Conference 2019

Early Talent in Asia: the what, the how, the why and the agenda for change

Did you miss the SEAAGE Annual Conference 2019?

Here’s a recap and some photos for you.


Early April, The South East Asian Association of Graduate Employers (SEAAGE) held its annual conference in Singapore at Workplace by Facebook with a networking evening at Pandora’s Garden the night before. This year’s conference theme was: Early Talent in Asia: the what, the how, the why and the agenda for change.

Representatives from the UK, Australia, UAE, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and China joined us at the energetic and intimate conference with one objective – to absorb, network and learn from others on how we can improve the way we are engaging with, attracting and developing young talent in the region.

With a focus on topics relevant to the Asia region, the conference showcased speakers, services and topics that support the profession to drive innovation and best practice.

Dates and Venues

Networking Evening

  • Date – Wednesday, 3rd April 2019
  • Location – Pandora’s Garden, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708
  • Time – 6.00pm – 9.00pm

Networking Evening Program


  • Date – Thursday, 4th April 2019
  • Location – Workplace by Facebook, 9 Straits View Level 29, West Tower, Marina One
  • Time – 8.30am to 5.00pm

Conference Program

Here’s a quick highlight of the key insights:

  1. These are great people in a great industry

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world but get a group of Early Talent professionals into one room and you are guaranteed a great time with great people.

  1. We are only scratching the surface

Feedback from the conference this year was overwhelming and suggested that an evening of networking and one day of content only scratches the surface. The industry wants more. To share more. To hear more. To truly understand how other organisations, industries, higher education providers, markets and vendors are responding to market influences in the region.

While global research and case studies are of interest, the market wants to learn from region-relevant experiences, programmes and strategies. They want localised data, opinions from students, from recent graduates, evidence of what has worked and what hasn’t.

  1. Digital and candidate experience is everything – can they co-exist?

Samir Khelil, APAC Director from our Gold Sponsor, Oleeo, used recent research (in conjunction with Universum) to highlight several opportunities to improve key aspects of student and graduate hiring using digital including diversity and inclusion, candidate engagement and intelligence.

Maximum CCO, Emile Mac Gillavry, spoke on the impact of engaging a multi-channel AND omnichannel digital strategy to drive awareness, engagement and applications, particularly as we operate within a candidate driven market. Two points were particularly insightful:

  • Earned versus owned media

From an organisation’s point of view, having strong owned media channels (e.g. websites, EDMs etc.) is important for overall brand, but even more important is considering how earned (referrals, unsolicited reviews, editorial) channels can be cultivated and supported to give a less curated perspective.

  • Omnichannel, programmatic advertising, search engine marketing

Emile demonstrated the impact of thinking beyond typical marketing platforms. Don’t make the mistake of assuming Asia is one market where a ‘one approach fits all’ for any aspect of early career talent. It’s clear that a seamless experience across all platforms (called omnichannel strategy) is a basic expectation of student talent.

  1. There are big gaps between higher education, students and organisations.

We were lucky to host six students at the conference this year. Feedback from students came loud and clear that something is missing. Comments included ‘I don’t really know how to find out what pathways truly exist’, ‘I didn’t know organisations cared so much about engaging with us’. Most higher education providers in the region have a careers centre and an employer/industry liaison to bridge the gap between organisations and students.

  1. Work readiness – what is it and who is responsible for it?

A big theme that came out in the conference this year was work-readiness. A Work Integrated Learning (WIL) panel featuring Christine Brooks (University of Sydney), DW Lee (Asia School of Business), Sarah-Ann Yong (MBA student) and Gemma Hudson (SAP) discussed and agreed that the more exposure students receive to actual or simulated experiences mirroring professional life, the more prepared they feel for the workforce and the faster organisations can onboard them.

So there you have it. We have only really touched the surface on the actual content of the conference. If that’s not enough for you, you can go through the conference slides and photos of everything that went down.

To our conference committee and staff members who have worked hard to make this conference happen – thank you. We truly appreciate all you do to make every annual conference a meaningful and engaging event. To everyone else, we hope to see you in our future conferences.







Social Evening



Venue Partner

Posted in News, Past Events.