Gemstar & Vouch on: Beating the tech talent crunch to grow and retain your global clientele

Lydia Gan
Lydia Gan
March 24, 2021

How does one hire amongst the talent crunch faced in Singapore right now? What good does an offshored team actually do? 

This Fireside Chat, the first webinar segment of a 3-part event held by Glints, delves into the inner workings of offshore hiring. It also talks about the impact it has for businesses in hiring affordably. Read on to find out what were the key takeaways from the webinar, which was hosted by Anthony Choong, the Enterprise Business Lead of Glints; and joined by guests Gemma Manning, CEO and Founder of Gemstar and Kenny Phua, Platform Manager of Vouch. 

#1. The talent crunch is being exacerbated by competitive compensation

The tech talent crunch is a significant issue within the region. Cost pressure from the entry of bigger international corporations has exacerbated this talent crunch.


The tech talent’s job market is very competitive because there’s a lot of demand. For example, look at Grab, look at how much they have grown in the past few years. That definitely could not have been done without hiring talent.

Vouch is also hiring engineering talent, and we did face some competition against bigger players. Thus we decided to build our entire in-house engineering team based in Indonesia. 

#2. Offshoring as a hiring solution can open up your business to diverse talents. These employees are analytical, resilient, and creative amidst a looming talent crunch 


What I’ve found after offshoring is how teams are able to think outside the box and analytically solve problems, on a daily basis. I’ve found that my team in Indonesia actually have that entrepreneurial spirit. I experience the best of both worlds in terms of technical skills, but also grit, resilience and hunger to constantly improve. 

#3. Implement consistent touchpoints to ensure smoother communication and alignment within your offshore teams

More frequent check-ins and in-person meetings (where possible) help to smooth communication during internal conflict, and facilitates constructive feedback within offshore teams. This better retains employees during periods of talent crunch where every hand is needed. 


Sometimes there may be cultural clashes between different global teams. This can lead to disagreements at certain points during a project. Sometimes there are people who are scared to point out each others’ weaknesses and calmly confront the issue. They want to wait until a team meeting or one-on-ones with supervisors, leading the supervisors to manage the entire situation.

Cultivating more in-person communication where possible, getting to know each other personally, makes us more comfortable talking about things like this especially in conflict. 

#4. Be culturally astute and knowledgeable, so that you can tap onto the different strengths of talents from each regional market and overcome talent crunch

Grow your cultural intelligence as a leader. Then, you can play to the different strengths of each market you’re looking to hire in.


I’ve got three distinct teams in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. I realized that each team has its own strengths. For example, the Singapore team can well look after the rigorous sides of planning, while the Indonesian team are incredibly savvy with the latest in social media. So on.

Essentially developing a working culture across three countries and respecting each others’ differences, capitalizing on these cultural nuances, makes offshoring in different locations work. There has to be a greater sense of sensitivity and awareness if you’re going to be working in a variety of locales. 

Related: How to overcome common WFH challenges

About Vouch

Vouch is a tech startup that provides digital concept services for hotels and the wider tourism industry. It was the winner of the “Best Business Innovation” Award Category at the Singapore Tourism Awards 2019 and Nominated as one of the Hot 25 Startups for 2021 by PhocusWire. With headquarters in Singapore, it has teams situated in Korea aiming to penetrate the market there. 

About Gemstar

Gemstar is an international business partner, education and training company focused on unearthing and helping fast growth start-ups, scale ups and SMEs to expand into ASEAN or into Australia. Apart from assisting startups and SMEs with market entry and growth strategies, Gemstar also offers entrepreneurship education, serving the global market. 

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