Skills shortage threat to Asia’s growth

Asia’s ongoing skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of businesses, according to a survey of employers conducted by recruiting experts Hays in Malaysia.


The survey of 2,600 employers, conducted as part of the 2014 Hays Salary Guide, found that 95 per cent say the skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business. In response, 68 per cent are willing to employ or sponsor a qualified overseas candidate in skill-short areas.


“According to our survey of employers across Asia, 63 per cent said business activity had increased over the past 12 months and 71 per cent expect it to increase this year,” said Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia and Singapore.  


“That’s strong evidence in support of a local economy that is both confident and providing jobs. But Asia’s continual demand for high-level skills remains a challenge for hiring managers. 


“As our survey shows, most employers say the skills shortage has the potential to hold back their business.  Given that 43 per cent of employers expect their permanent staff levels to increase in the year ahead, demand for high-level skills will remain.”


According to the Hays Salary Guide, employers report difficulty recruiting senior management candidates in sales, marketing, engineering, human resources and accountancy & finance. Finding junior to mid management candidates in sales, engineering, accountancy & finance, technical, IT, marketing and operations is also challenging, as the below graph of survey responses shows.


 Looking ahead, Chris says that the main challenge will remain candidate supply in a job rich market, which will put pressure on wages.


“Many industries remain highly active and offer a large number of exciting projects to work on,” he said. “This will continue to tempt candidates, if they are approached in the right way.”


Get your copy of the 2014 Hays Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2014 iPhone app from iTunes.


Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.  Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email


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



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