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New Michael Page report examines regional trends

Taipei, 29 January - Over half of Greater China employers plan to hire in 2015. This is according to findings of the 2015 Salary & Employment Forecast Report for Greater China, released today at a Special Lunch event jointly hosted by Michael Page Greater China and the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan's (ECCT) Human Resources committee. The report, presented in association with the ECCT, covers an outlook of the regional recruitment market in 2015.

The report identifies bullish attitudes on hiring among over 2,000 employers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Among respondents to the report's featured survey, over 53% plan to increase headcount this year, and 47% say hiring in 2015 will be stronger than it was last year.

Unlike previous reports, which examined employment developments in these markets separately, the latest report examines Greater China as a regional market with multiple components. "This yields a comparative approach that facilitates benchmarking of employment trends in component markets against the average of the increasingly interconnected regional economy," said Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director, Greater China, Page Group.

The report's regional headcount statistics offer a good example. While employers are optimistic on hiring in all markets, they are the most optimistic in Taiwan, where 63% of surveyed firms plan to hire. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is in third place with 51% of employers looking to bring in new professionals, with the mainland situated in-between.

In addition to this regional focus, the report contains a wealth of insights from external specialists. "Through input from regional HR managers as well as experts in innovation and demographics, the report describes developments such as the rise of employer brands among Chinese companies and the growth of the digital economy – and their impacts on the labour market," said Anthony Thompson.

Other findings include:
Employee turnover is still generally driven by the desire to increase salary, although regional differences exist;
As was the case last year, salaries are generally expected to rise slightly faster on the mainland than in the other markets;
Employers region-wide face high salary expectations, and often address them by offering alternatives such as career development, training, and flexible benefits; and
Employers increasingly value "soft" skills such as communication and commercial acumen.

In total, 2,077 employers participated in the report's survey. Further industry details are provided by Michael Page managers region-wide, as well as hiring managers from the banking, luxury retailing, apparel, property and airline industries. Rounding out the mix are acclaimed trend-spotters, such as Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research Group and the author of "The End of Copycat China" as well as Dr Clint Laurent, founder and Managing Director of Global Demographics.

About Michael Page and its Salary and Employment Forecast
As part of PageGroup, Michael Page is a worldwide leader in specialist recruitment operating in 153 offices in 34 countries, including Taiwan since 2012. The Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast is a key annual recruitment industry report. The report is based on both quantitative and qualitative research, with findings derived via a survey of employers and insights obtained through the business's significant involvement in the professional employment market. This year's Salary & Employment Outlook retains much of the region-specific detail that characterised past forecasts. However, much greater emphasis has been placed on pan-regional changes by consolidating the reports of Greater China component regions into one report. In addition, the report incorporates the views of more than 2,000 employer survey respondents in addition to feedback from corporate human resources directors. Moreover, the report adds long-term predictions from experts in innovation and demographics to help readers gain a better appreciation for where the employment market will be heading in the years to come.

About the ECCT
With over US$33 billion in direct foreign investments, European business remains the largest group of foreign investors in Taiwan. The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan is the only foreign nationwide business chamber in Taiwan and the principal organisation promoting European business interests in Taiwan. The chamber represents over 800 members from over 400 companies and organisations. Through a network of 28 industry and support committees, the ECCT has been successful in addressing specific concerns and providing concrete recommendations to all levels of government to facilitate improving the business environment. The ECCT annually publishes a series of position papers that comprise issues identified by its committees as hindering the further development of their respective industries and provide recommendations to the government of Taiwan for improvement of the business environment on general issues as well as industry-specific problems. They also serve to keep the European Commission and parliament as well as the governments of individual European Union member states informed about Taiwan's business environment.