– 4 min read –

I don’t know about you, but when I first saw this green banner # OPEN TO WORK pop up on LinkedIn profiles a few years ago, I was really surprised.


And I am still surprised today.

Everybody knows that if you look for a job, the first thing to do is to pretend you don’t.

Just look around, people who are proposed jobs are the employed ones who don’t need a job.


Those who do need a job are often looked down on as if they were outcasts.

It is a pity and it is sad, but it is an unfortunate reality.


I would love to see the statistics of people successfully finding a job with and without this green LinkedIn banner.


Let us put the green banner aside and have a look at the Indonesian recruitment market.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, the working-age population is estimated to be 214 million people in 2024, including 146 million people actually working.

We are talking about a huge market, no doubt.


However, there is confusion and ignorance from some outsiders concerning the hiring trends and practices in Indonesia.


50 years ago, employees, especially civil servants, could be given rice and sugar as a part of their salary.

If you think you can pay an Indonesian employee today with a bowl of rice, think twice.

Times have changed… a lot.


If you want to hire blue-collar or low-qualified staff, there will indeed be plenty of applicants ready to work for low pay.

But that is true everywhere.


If you are looking for Indonesian middle to top managers, experienced, qualified, autonomous, reliable, efficient, motivated, proactive, … you name it, then the game is different.


These talents, to use the dedicated jargon, do exist in Indonesia but they are rare and expensive.

They have the upper hand, employers fight for them.

You need to craft an attractive job description.


Indonesia has one of the world’s best law protection frameworks for employees, which makes things even more difficult for employers.

You also need to consider the market cycle.

One example. There are 2 annual bonuses for employees in Indonesia.


The first is a bonus based on performance, not compulsory, and often given to salespeople.

The second is compulsory and roughly 1 month’s salary. It is called THR, short for Tunjangan Hari Raya, or Religious Holiday Allowance.


This THR is given at a time that depends on the religion of the employee.

I know … this is unexpected and unheard of for Western people for example.


The recognized religious holidays for THR payments are:

  • Nyepi for Hindus
  • Vesak for Buddhists
  • Christmas for Christians
  • Chinese New Year for Confucianists
  • Eid-il-Fitr for Muslims, the end of Ramadan


Since the majority of Indonesians are Muslim, the practice of many businesses in the country is to pay the THR of Muslim employees before the Eid-il-Fitr break (end of Ramadan) and non-Muslim employees before the Christmas holidays.

It is well known in Indonesia that when people change jobs they often do it just after they get their THR payment.

So Christmas and the end of Ramadan are 2 important periods in the Indonesian recruitment market and cycle.


Indonesia is like any other country, you don’t find top talents by chance or by word of mouth, you need to pay a recruitment agency and use modern strategies.


You cannot rely on last-century management books on career development and dynamics.

The theory of “career anchors” for example, is a brilliant work by (then) MIT professor Edgar Schein.

However, it dates back to 1978!


The career anchors theory is a set of needs and values that a person is least willing to give up when forced to make a choice. This concept reflects the lifelong search of every human to find themselves.

Schein’s original anchors are

– technical-functional competence

– entrepreneurial and creativity

– general managerial skill

– security/stability

– autonomy


More anchors were added in the 1980s

– service, dedication to a cause

– pure challenge

– lifestyle


Likewise, I see some companies spending efforts on developing what they call their “employer brand”.

If you are Apple, Tesla, Nike, or Starbucks, it can make sense.

Otherwise, it is merely a corporate internal communication exercise.

And most likely a waste of time as it does not interest candidates who have an upper hand in the hiring market.


In today’s world, the old HR theories don’t help and don’t apply.

Careers have changed, and people change jobs more often, and faster.

People want cash now, not promises based on a vague corporate vision.

People work from home and from anywhere.


The growing importance of artificial intelligence brings new ways of working and higher productivity.

If you are looking to hire a rare talent or as the French say a “five-legged sheep”, we at Cintasia can help you to do so in Indonesia.


Our approach is different, we use a blue ocean strategy (*).

We avoid fighting with the crowd by only looking for the perfect and hard-to-find star candidate.

We open our search to candidates with a profile slightly below your original and ideal target.

There will be more candidates there.


Then we coach, manage, train, and bring your new hire up to your expected skill level.

We build the key parameters and targets together.

It is a 3 to 6-month process starting from the first day of the employee.

The total cost of recruitment is the same as a standard recruitment.


If you don’t have a legal entity in Indonesia, we can host the employee for you and take care of all matters related to the employment contract.


Ramadan starts next week in Indonesia.

A new season of five-legged sheep hunting has begun.

Get your talent, contact us!


(*) PS: Learn or get a refresher about the Blue Ocean Strategy in one of our previous posts. Click here: