Taiwanese Skills Shortage Set to Continue in 2014

Despite an increasingly optimistic business outlook and a welcome influx of Chinese tourists, Taiwan’s skills shortage is expected to worsen as the country’s professionals continue to live and work away from the island.

However, just under half (48 per cent) of all employers surveyed in Michael Page’s Salary & Employment Forecast for Taiwan believe that their hiring activity in 2014 will be ramped up thanks to the tourism boost and economic enthusiasm.

Taipei skyline
photo credit: Dave Wilson

Other key findings from the wide-ranging survey include:

  • Around 41 per cent of respondents expect a continued shortage of professional skills in the next year.
  • Only 38 per cent of employers expect staff turnover in the next 12 months.
  • Employees are most likely to leave if they don’t have an opportunity to learn (26 per cent) or if they strive for a better work-life balance (21 per cent).
  • The majority (67 per cent) are aware of the need to develop targeted attraction strategies for recruiting talent.
  • The bulk of employers (76 per cent) indicate salary increments will be applied company-wide.

In reference to the survey, Chris Preston, Regional Director of Michael Page in Taiwan, said:

“The rise in tourism activity from Mainland China will continue to drive the retail industry creating a healthy flow of jobs and opportunities for professionals with retail and marketing expertise.

“Concurrent to the spike in retail hiring activity, companies will also be looking to develop and bolster the size of their sales teams, creating added activity in the recruitment landscape.”

Global economy steadies Taiwan’s hiring activity

Aside from the boost to tourism thanks to the steady stream of Chinese visitors, the stabilising global economy has played its part in the plans to increase Taiwan’s hiring activity over the next 12 months and beyond.

In addition, with strong company loyalty evident across the Taiwanese workforce (just 38 per cent of employers expect staff to leave in the next year), it’s likely that employment prospects will take the shape of new roles as opposed to replacement positions.

For those who are seeking a change, however, the survey found that increased opportunities to improve skills (26 per cent) and achieve a more agreeable work-life balance (21 per cent) are the key factors driving the thirst for change.

Consequently, from an employer’s perspective, it’s obvious that greater importance should be placed on managing existing talent within an organisation AND devising a strategy to attract staff to plug the talent gaps.

Taiwanese working on a project
photo credit: WorldSkills

“Although employee loyalty is predicted to be strong across the Taiwanese workforce in 2014, employers are recognising the increasing need to communicate the potential of international career opportunities when looking to attract and retain professionals,” adds Chris Preston.

To boost retention and attract talent, then, employers should be prepared to factor in increased remuneration, with 76 per cent of organisations indicating that their employees could expect salary increases in the coming year.

Conversely, 71 per cent of employers will only increase their employees’ salary depending on their performance, with economic conditions at home (70 per cent), worldwide economic conditions (48 per cent) and competition with other companies (46 per cent) the additional contributing factors.