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Michael Page Salary Benchmark 2018 report launch

The Michael Page Taiwan Salary Benchmark 2018 report was released at an ECCT Premium Event lunch. The report, produced and released in collaboration with the ECCT, covers market insights and recruitment trends. Compiled with employment figures from the group's database in the last 12 months, the report contains in-depth analysis and projections in key sectors. At the event Mark Tibbatts, Managing Director, Southern China & Taiwan for the PageGroup gave a presentation which summarised the main findings of the report. Also at the lunch, Tony Phoo, Senior Economist for Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) gave a presentation on the economic outlook for Taiwan.


Tibbatts summed up overall sentiment towards the Taiwan market as cautiously optimistic. The optimism is on the back of steady economic growth globally while the note of caution is on account of the potential negative impact in the event of geopolitical unrest.

According to the report, Taiwan's biggest growth sectors, particularly in the software, semiconductor and IoT sectors, are facing strong competition for talent. Michael Page experienced a steady increase in hiring throughout 2017, which it expects to continue in 2018. The short supply of talent in key sectors pushed up salaries, with the steepest rises in areas where shortages were the most acute, such as professionals with the requisite technical skills in product development and integration, quality engineering, machine learning as well as data science.

According to the report, both multinationals and local companies are expanding their operations in Taiwan. This applies to both new and traditional companies, which are seeking ways to digitally reinvent their processes, as well as companies from Singapore, Hong Kong and other South East Asia countries which have decided to establish their regional research and development centres in Taiwan.

According to the report, the rise of e-commerce and digital transformation will continue to create job opportunities across all sectors. Skilled professionals are highly sought after by both traditional companies looking to digitalise processes and progressive, technology-driven firms wanting to stay ahead of the curve.

To support the technical aspects behind these platforms, technical candidates including mobile application developers, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designers as well as search engine optimisation (SEO) engineers are in equally high demand. Savvy digital marketers with the ability to harness a full suite of marketing tools are also in demand to produce data-driven results.

Renewable energy remains high on the agenda of the Taiwan government and is attracting investment from both domestic and international players, which will drive demand for talent in the sector.

In addition, with strong government support, Taiwan's healthcare industry will continue to mature in 2018 and attract even more international players. A jump in hiring activity is anticipated to be seen across pharmaceuticals and medical devices, creating more opportunities for professionals in medical affairs as well as brand and product management.

According to the report, over the past year, employers across all sectors interviewed an average of four candidates before making an offer and it took an average of two months for employers to find the right candidate. For their part, candidates typically had to go through three rounds interviews with a company before securing a position.

Looking at statistics broken down by sector, technology is by far the hottest area for Michael Page, which has seen a 32% increase in the number of positions in the past 12 months while candidates moving jobs in the sector can expect an average 16-20% salary increase.

The number of sales jobs has also increased sharply (by 20%) over the past 12 months while candidates switching sales jobs can expect an average 11-15% salary increase.

The engineering and manufacturing sector, driven by growth potential related to IoT, has seen a 15% increase in the number of positions in the past 12 months while candidates moving jobs in the sector can expect an average 11-20% salary increase.

There is also a rising demand for human resources professionals with the right skills as companies seek to attract and maintain talent. Michael Page has seen a 12% increase in the number of HR positions over the past 12 months while candidates moving HR jobs can expect an average 11-15% salary increase.

There is less movement in the procurement and supply chain and finance spaces with a 10% increase in the number of positions in procurement and a 6% increase in finance positions in the past 12 months, although candidates moving jobs in both sectors can still expect average salary increases of 11-15%.

According to the report, the rise of e-commerce will strongly affect the retail sector in 2018 as more retail brands look for candidates that have e-commerce experience. There has been only a modest 5% increase in the number of retail and sourcing positions over the past 12 months and candidates switching jobs in the sector can expect an average salary increase of 6-10%.

Tibbatts also gave some interesting insights from surveys the group has done of candidates. Findings from surveys show that the main reason people switch jobs is to improve their skills development, but there has been a rise in the number of people leaving because they want a better work-life balance. He said that this is something companies need to pay greater attention to, especially to attract and retain millennials. He also reported that candidates surveyed were generally optimistic. 71% of respondents in Taiwan said that they expected to get a new job within three months while a similar percentage expected to get promoted. These were higher percentages than their counterparts in Hong Kong, although slightly lower than in mainland China.

In his presentation Tony Phoo said that there was a high level of optimism on Taiwan's economic prospects, noting that most of his bank's clients expect 2018 to be better than 2017. If this optimism proves to be prescient, the bank's current GDP forecast of 2.3% could well turn out to be too modest.

Phoo did however caution that there are risks to the optimistic scenario. For example, there is a risk of higher-than-expected inflation. However at present, strong export growth bodes well for the job market and consumer spending.

Phoo also said that he believes the Taiwan property market bottomed out in 2017, although there has only been a modest rebound since then.