Recession Proof: Why You Should Start Hiring SEA Talent

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The world is currently facing an economic downturn, and businesses are grappling with the effects of the pandemic. In these uncertain times, businesses need to be adaptable and make smart decisions when it comes to hiring. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is hiring talent from Southeast Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented economic challenges for businesses around the world. Many have been forced to cut costs and adapt quickly to the changing landscape.

One way that businesses can adapt is by hiring remote talent from Southeast Asia. Not only does this offer cost savings, but it also provides access to a growing pool of top-notch digital talent.

In this blog post, we'll explore why hiring from Southeast Asia is a smart move for companies facing an economic downturn, and looking to build successful remote teams.

What Makes Southeast Asia Special?

Southeast Asia is home to a growing digital economy, which is projected to reach US$300 billion by 2025. It is also a quarter to 25 unicorns, with a few of them being the Indonesian ride-hailing company Gojek and the Singaporean ride-hailing company Grab.

One of the region's key strengths is its ability to adapt to various communication and collaboration styles. This is due in part to the diversity of the region's cultures and languages. This can translate to more effective communication and collaboration among team members from different backgrounds in a professional setting.

It is worth noting that while the cost of living in Southeast Asia is generally lower than in the West, salaries are competitive and reflect the high skill level of the workforce

Why Hiring from Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is quickly emerging as a prime destination for hiring top-tier tech talent at affordable rates. In this section, we will explore the 3 ultimate reasons Southeast Asia is the place to hire remote workers for your business.

1) Home to Top-Notch Digital Talents

Southeast Asia has a highly educated and skilled workforce, with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

According to a report by LinkedIn, Southeast Asia is home to some of the world's top digital talents, with countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia leading the pack.

2) Home to 25 Unicorns

Southeast Asia is also home to 25 unicorns, startups with a valuation of at least US$1 billion. These unicorns are leading the charge in driving Southeast Asia's digital economy, which is projected to reach US$300 billion by 2025. The region's growing digital economy is a testament to the abundance of digital talent available in Southeast Asia.

3) High Level of Skill with a Competitive Salary

Many professionals in the region have honed their skills through education, training, and hands-on experience, resulting in a high level of expertise in their respective fields. Furthermore, these skilled workers often come with a competitive salary, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to hire top talent without breaking the bank.

Companies like Grab and Lazada have recognized the value of Southeast Asian talent and have been able to build successful teams by tapping into the region's pool of skilled workers. With the right resources and support, businesses can easily access the talented professionals Southeast Asia has to offer at a competitive rate.

4) Driven and Ambitious

The tech talent pool in Southeast Asia is not only highly skilled and motivated but also driven and ambitious. They are hungry for opportunities to learn and grow, and they take their careers seriously.

Many of them have a strong desire to work for top-tier companies and be part of innovative and challenging projects that will help them develop their skills further. They are not afraid to take on new challenges and are always looking for ways to improve their expertise.

This drive and ambition make them valuable assets for any company that hires them, as they are willing to go above and beyond to achieve their goals and contribute to their employer's success.

5) Adaptive Communication Skill

One of the biggest advantages of hiring from Southeast Asia is the region's ability to adapt to various communication styles and collaboration preferences in professional settings. The region is highly diverse, with people from different cultures, religions, and ethnicities coexisting and working together. This diversity has led to a unique ability to adapt and communicate effectively across different cultures and languages.

why hiring SEA talent

The Most Common Jobs in Southeast Asia

The job market in Southeast Asia is diverse, with various industries and positions. Some of the most common job sectors in the region include technology, healthcare, and finance.

In terms of specific positions, software engineers, data analysts, and digital marketers are in high demand.

According to a report by LinkedIn, software engineering was the top job function in Southeast Asia in 2020, followed by sales and business development. Another report by Michael Page revealed that the demand for tech talent in Southeast Asia has been increasing, with a particular focus on cybersecurity, cloud computing, and e-commerce.

Companies Hired Talent from SEA


One company that has successfully hired talent from Southeast Asia is Grab, a ride-hailing and food delivery company headquartered in Singapore. Grab has a strong presence in Southeast Asia, operating in over 350 cities across 8 countries, and has raised over $10 billion in funding.

To fuel its growth and expansion, Grab has been actively hiring top talent from the region, particularly in the technology sector. In 2019, Grab acquired Bangalore-based AI start-up, TenXc Wireless, which brought on board a team of talented engineers and data scientists. Grab also opened a technology center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in 2017, which currently employs over 200 engineers and data scientists.

By hiring talent from Southeast Asia, Grab has been able to tap into the region's strong pool of digital talent while keeping costs relatively low compared to hiring from more expensive markets like the US or Europe. This has allowed Grab to stay competitive in the ride-hailing and food delivery space, which is particularly important in Southeast Asia's fast-paced and rapidly evolving market.


Amazon is one of the world's largest online retailers, and the company has a significant presence in Southeast Asia. Amazon has hired several talented individuals from the region to work in various roles, including software engineering, data analytics, and customer support.

For instance, Amazon has a development center in Singapore, where it has hired local talent to work on software development projects for the company. is a global online travel agency that helps customers book flights, hotels, and other travel-related services. The company has a significant presence in Southeast Asia, and it has hired several talented individuals from the region to work in various roles.

For example, has a technology center in Singapore, where it has hired local talent to work on developing and maintaining its website and mobile app. The company has also hired digital marketing specialists from Southeast Asia to help it reach customers in the region more effectively.


One example of a Singaporean company that hires talent from Southeast Asia is Razer, a global gaming hardware company. Razer has expanded its operations in Southeast Asia and has hired top talent from the region to develop its products and grow its business.

In 2019, Razer announced plans to establish a Southeast Asia headquarters in Malaysia, which includes a recruitment drive to hire local talent. Additionally, Razer has also partnered with educational institutions in the region to offer internships and career opportunities to students and graduates in the technology and gaming industries.

Talentport: Hire SEA's Top Tech Talents with Cost Effective Rate

Looking for top-notch talents that don’t blow your budget? SEA talent got you covered.

Hiring top-tier tech talent from the West can be prohibitively expensive for many companies, especially startups and small businesses. Southeast Asia offers an affordable alternative without sacrificing quality.

Talentport is a leading provider of remote tech talent from Southeast Asia. Our mission is to provide businesses with access to exceptional talent, regardless of their budget.

We work with a network of over 5000 tech professionals across the region and provide end-to-end support for remote hiring.

By working with Talentport, businesses can benefit from our expertise in sourcing and vetting candidates, as well as our knowledge of the local market. Our team of recruiters and account managers is dedicated to helping businesses find the right talent for their needs, whether they need a full-time employee or a project-based contractor.


In times of economic uncertainty, adaptability is key. Hiring from Southeast Asia can be a smart move for businesses looking to weather the storm, with the region's highly skilled workforce and cost-effective rates.

With Talentport, businesses can take advantage of all that Southeast Asia has to offer, without breaking the bank. So why not consider Southeast Asia for your next remote hiring needs?

Start hiring top-notch tech workers remotely to support your business now.

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