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Robert Walters Salary Survey 2022

The Robert Walters Salary Survey 2022 was co-launched with the ECCT at a Premium Event lunch, which was followed by a press conference for the media. At the event, John Winter, General Manager of Robert Walters Taiwan, presented the main findings from the digital survey, which was based on data collected across all of its markets globally over the course of 2021.

He began with a snapshot of trends in the region. According to Winter, his firm saw strong hiring activity in almost every country in the region on account of high turnover rates. The firm's business in Mainland China, for example, had a record year in 2021. In Taiwan, the recruitment market in Taiwan was very strong in 2021 despite the escalation of the pandemic, starting in May of last year. According to the survey, the local job market remains driven by technology, especially due to the surge in global demand for semiconductors and electronics products. In addition, he said that there was an increase in the number of overseas organisations looking to establish or build their presence in Taiwan, most noticeably for the purposes of offshoring software positions on the island.

According to the survey, companies had widened their search for talent through the accelerated implementation of remote working policies. The firm saw an increase in the number of job openings in almost all sectors, particularly technology. According to Winter, Robert Walters had to increase its own headcount to handle the increase in business.

The talent pool has started to become limited in many areas especially within the technology, supply chain and sales & marketing sectors due to travel restrictions, as well as the speed of digitalisation and demand for candidates with regional experience.

According to the survey, expected salary increments in 2022 will vary across industries and roles. On average, it is anticipated that increments will be around 10-15% when people switch jobs. However, where demand is particularly high for candidates in some areas of supply chain and technology this can be as high as 25%. Findings also show that candidates consider factors beyond compensation and benefits when looking for jobs, such as an inspiring work culture, diversity & inclusion, as well as whether communications with management is open and effective.

The survey notes that digitalisation and transformation will continue to be a key growth area across many sectors and recruitment activities are expected to be high across most areas of technology in 2022. There is a particular surge in demand for talent in the semiconductor industry, driven by the continued growth of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive industries. TSMC alone is reportedly looking to hire 9,000 people. There has also been a rise in demand for supply chain project management professionals while some corporations have relocated key roles to Taiwan to minimise risk factors.

Meanwhile, activity in the FMCG sector did not slow down despite the pandemic. In the healthcare sector, there has been an increase in demand for sales professionals with medical science knowledge and for candidates with a strong understanding of medical policies. In addition, hiring in e-commerce, FinTech, and the energy sector has been accelerated by the pandemic and sustainability issues. According to Winter, hiring is becoming more difficult in the wind energy sector in Taiwan given the shortage of talent due to the booming global wind energy market. Digital marketing talent is also hard to find.

Companies are becoming more agile with their workforce post-Covid and are speeding up their transformation projects. Findings show that nearly 65% of tech professionals are confident about job opportunities. It is anticipated that all technology engineers, especially IC design engineers and mid-level software engineers will be in high demand. Software engineer candidates are getting three offers on average, according to Winter. The job market is also seeing higher requirements for R&D professionals, telecommunications and cloud service professionals. For job movers possessing in-demand or niche skill sets, salary increments could be as high as 25% or more.

Demand for hybrid jobs has intensified in the commerce sectors. Across sales & marketing functions there is an increase in hybrid jobs, such as e-commerce and digital marketing roles, where traditionally skill sets do not fall under the same roles are combined, or candidates in technical disciplines are expected to apply more soft skills. Companies that are integrating omni-channel and online-to-offline (O2O) models into their operations are in the growth, further driving the demand for digital talent. Due to the shortage of such talent, more companies are considering candidates from overseas returning to Taiwan.

There is an increasing demand for agile and bilingual candidates. Candidates across most fields will have an advantage if they are multilingual, particularly for senior positions where they are expected to liaise with overseas colleagues. Those that are able to demonstrate agility and adaptability outside of their core technical skills will be in high demand, in order to lead in the new norm of remote working and fast changing market conditions.

According to the survey, 50% of professionals are looking for a new job in 2022 and 67% of them are expecting a pay rise. In this market, how should companies adjust their talent management strategies to attract the best talent?

Robert Walters advises companies to capitalise on the opportunities brought by the new normal, noting that the pandemic has accelerated companies and workforces to scramble towards hybrid working and the experience has shaped the perspectives of work. Companies that have pushed back against hybrid working are now seen as outliers. The industry survey reveals that 78% of professionals said that the offer of hybrid working arrangements would make them more likely to join a prospective employer. In contrast, a high proportion of candidates will refuse a job offer if there is no hybrid working option.            

According to Winter, “Candidates are universally expecting more flexibility in remote and flexible working. Companies that are able to offer more autonomy in work will be recognised as employers of choice. These companies will have a distinct advantage when hiring talent as well as retaining key employees in a competitive market.”

Nevertheless, hybrid working is not universally liked and there are many roles that require people to be on site. In addition, there are many issues around hybrid working that are not yet resolved. For example, it has been found that people that spend more time in the office are more likely to receive favourable treatment than those that spend more time working remotely. There is also the issue of how to integrate newcomers into the work culture if they do not have sufficient interaction with colleagues, especially senior managers, who would normally act as mentors. Another pernicious side effect is that many hybrid workers tend to overcompensate for not being in the office by working longer hours, which leads to stress, health problems, and even complete burnout.

Apart from flexible working options, candidates are also looking for companies that encourage innovation in a psychologically safe environment (meaning that they are encouraged to experiment even if there is a risk of failure) and offer training platforms that could upskill their personal and professional development, as well as providing a clear plan for their career progression. Employees increasingly also appreciate empathetic leadership. Hiring managers are also strongly advised to look into candidate experience, avoid delays in the hiring process and ensure efficient and quick decisions are made after identifying suitable candidates.

For the presentation, please refer to this link: