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Hays survey highlights impact of the skills shortage

The overwhelming majority of employers are concerned about the impact of skills shortages on their business operations and about half say it will definitely affect them, according to the 2013 Hays Asia Salary Guide.     


“According to the Salary Guide, 93 per cent of employers say skills shortages have the potential to hamper their business, and 49 per cent indicate that skills shortages will ‘without a doubt’ affect their operation. This figure is up from 38 per cent in 2012 – a significant increase,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia & Singapore.


The Salary Guide, which surveyed about 1,200 employers in Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, also revealed that engineering, sales and IT remain among the top skills in demand across Asia.


 22 per cent of the employers surveyed find it difficult to recruit junior to mid management-level candidates in engineering (see table 1). 20 per cent of employers agree they have the same difficulties when it comes to sourcing talent for sales roles. Employers also report that sourcing junior to mid management in IT (15 per cent) and technical skills (16 per cent) is also a challenge.


Meanwhile, when it comes to senior management, employers indicate shortages exist in sales (16 per cent), engineering (14 per cent) accounting and finance (13 per cent) and human resources (also 13 per cent).


“While these figures are slightly down from our last survey a year ago, skills shortages remain a challenge for Malaysia and Asia in general,” says Chris.


“However, 68 per cent of employers are willing to hire or sponsor qualified overseas candidates in skill short areas – up from 66 per cent in 2012, while 52 per cent have used flexible staffing approaches in the past 12 months.”


88 per cent also say they are using contractors as part of that flexible approach and 25 per cent expect the use of these workers to increase in the next 12 months – this figure is up from 18 per cent in 2012.


“This suggests that Asian employers are adapting to the economic climate and thinking outside the box to address the issue of skills shortages,” says Chris.


79 per cent of employers say they offer benefits in addition to a salary and bonus, perhaps a strategy to attract and retain the talent they need. Health and Life Assurance are the two most popular benefits offered by employers.


Meanwhile, in this year’s Salary Guide survey Hays asked about employment brand and 60 per cent of employers say that a career path and training have a “major or significant impact” on their ability to attract the right candidates, yet only 10 per cent feel the perception of their employer brand in the market for these qualities is excellent.


Table 1

 Salary guide relelase_table 1

To download the 2013 Hays Asia Salary Guide, please go to or go to iTunes to download the free app.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.


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