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Workforce mobility and skill shortages to increase employer focus on talent attraction

Taipei, 22 January – There is a shortage of skilled personnel in Taiwan across all industry sectors and at all levels despite some continued challenging economic conditions in other parts of the world and a noticeable slowdown in certain sectors and work opportunities in China. Moreover, the continued migration of Taiwanese professionals to other Asian countries will add to an existing skills shortage in the local recruitment market over 2013 and prompt employers to place an increased focus on talent attraction and retention strategies. This is according to findings in the inaugural Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast 2013 for Taiwan, released today. The report, presented in association with the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT), covers an outlook of the domestic recruitment market in 2013.

Most employers surveyed (69%) for the report anticipate their employees will look for career opportunities in other Asian countries and relocate for work during 2013. While Hong Kong and Singapore remain popular locations, the majority of survey respondents (67%) identify China as the preferred destination for departing Taiwanese professionals.

This mobility of Taiwan's workforce is likely to make the country's existing professional skills shortage more pronounced and 58% of survey respondents report that they are expecting a skills shortage over the next 12 months. The shortage of professional talent across all sectors and at all levels will present challenges for employers, particularly if economic conditions start to improve during 2013. Some 55% of surveyed employers indicate the skills shortage will result in the development of more targeted attraction strategies to attract and retain staff.

"The major challenge for employers in Taiwan continues to be working to ensure they have the best employees with the right skills for their business. Employers will therefore be placing an enhanced focus on talent attraction strategies with the view to create more targeted offerings to entice employees to join their company," says Chris Preston, Director of Michael Page in Taiwan. Talent attraction strategies likely to be implemented include non-financial incentives such as career development opportunities and work-life balance options, however financial reward remains important. As more local professionals relocate to other Asian countries including China, talent attraction becomes even more of a focus," Preston adds.

According to the survey findings, the same percentage of employers believe employees are likely to leave their current employer in order to achieve a better work-life balance as they are to leave for an improved salary with another employer (21%). The majority of Taiwanese work over 40 hours a week, according to their managers, with 40% working between 40 and 45 hours, 22% working between 45 and 50 hours a week and 10% working 50 hours or more.

To attract and retain talented professionals, employers will need to implement a range of talent attraction and retention strategies including non-financial incentives, such as career development opportunities and work-life balance options. For employers within multinational businesses, learning and development opportunities are a particularly popular career incentive, with many employers developing their talent in Taiwan and then providing employees with career opportunities in other Asia-based locations.

Structured career progression was rated by the highest percentage of surveyed employers (36%) as an important attraction and retention strategy, followed by 23% choosing recognition and rewards. Promoting a strong company culture and providing work-life balance options are other non-financial talent attraction and retention strategies employers are likely to make use of.

Taiwan's professional skills shortage will place pressure on salary levels, with 44% of employers surveyed believing that salaries will rise above the inflation rate. The majority of respondents (80%) will base salary increases during 2013 on performance, with most (41%) likely to award an average increase in the range of 3 to 4%.

"Given salary levels in Taiwan are on average lower than some other Asian countries, a general rise in remuneration offered by employers in Taiwan over 2013 would assist with talent attraction and retention. It may even go some way towards encouraging local professionals to stay in Taiwan and expats to return home," says Preston.

About Michael Page and its Salary and Employment Forecast
Michael Page, Part of the Page Group, Michael Page is a worldwide leader in specialist recruitment with nearly 5,100 employees in 164 offices across 34 countries worldwide, including Taiwan since 2012. The Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast is a key recruitment industry report that has been released annually to the market in a number of Asia Pacific countries for more than five years. 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. The Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast is currently produced for Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Australia and New Zealand.

About the ECCT
With over US$31 billion in direct foreign investments, European business remains the largest group of foreign investors in Taiwan. The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan is the principle organisation promoting European business interests in Taiwan. The chamber represents around 700 members from 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, the European Parliament as well as the governments of individual European Union member states informed about Taiwan's business environment.