Skills Shortages a Challenge in Asia

In a survey across Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Japan, 95% of employers said skills shortages have the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department.

Of 900 employers surveyed by recruitment consultant Hays, 24% said they have recently found it difficult to recruit engineering staff at the junior to mid management level. 22% of employers said they have found it difficult to recruit sales candidates at all levels.

Employers also report difficulty when recruiting IT skills at the junior to mid management level (16%) and accountancy and finance skills at the junior to mid management level (14%).

“Finding a way to bridge this skills gap will be critical in the months and years ahead,” said Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

According to Hays, one way to do this is to consider flexible staffing solutions. “Already this is a strategy employers are turning to, with one in two reporting that they have utilised a flexible staffing approach in the last 12 months,” said Marc.

“Of these, the most common approach was temporary or contract staff, which was utilised by 69% of employers. This was followed by the employment of part-time staff, casual staff and job sharing.

“Another strategy is overseas skills. According to our survey, 66% of employers said they would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate in skill-short areas.

“Some employers are also attempting to overcome the skills shortage by counter offering staff when they resign. 66% said they sometimes counter-offer staff and 7% always counter-offer staff when they resign.”

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