A massive 96 per cent of China’s employers believe skills shortages have the potential to impact the effective operation of their business or department this year. A further 34 per cent believe they don’t have the talent they need right now to meet current business objectives, according to findings in the recently released 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide.
The survey of more than 3,000 employers, representing over six million employees, found that the most difficult professionals to recruit in the current market are accountancy & finance candidates to fill both entry to middle management roles and middle management roles. Sales professionals at both these levels are almost as hard to find.
Sourcing the right middle management engineering, IT, marketing, operations and HR talent is also a challenge.
In skill short areas, 65 per cent of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified expatriate/overseas candidate. Other actions contemplated to counter areas of skills shortage including up-skilling existing staff (49 per cent) and improving attraction strategies (41 per cent).
“We know from the findings of the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide that many candidates across Asia have itchy feet so employers will need to take action to keep hard-to-replace talent, as well as develop stronger attraction strategies to maintain a pipeline in areas of shortage,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.
According to the survey, 44 per cent of candidates are already actively looking for a job while a further 42 per cent are open to hearing about a new opportunity.
Having the right people in place is critical to navigating economic conditions in 2016 especially for the 60 per cent of employers that told us they are expecting an increased level of business activity this year.
“For China’s job seekers, doing your research is critical to securing a job that offers the opportunity to develop new skills and grow professionally. Salary is important, however many employers are taking a cautious approach to remuneration in 2016 making it critical for candidates to not only manage their salary expectations, but also to look for other benefits that will add to their personal bottom line over the long term,” Christine added.
Employers will need to focus on retention this year as 44 per cent of candidates are currently looking for a new job and a further 42 per cent are open to hearing about a fresh opportunity.
25 per cent of the respondents surveyed want to be in a new role within the next six months with a further 21 per cent expecting to change jobs within the year.
With almost half the workforce thinking about a move, employers need to pay close attention to what pushes an employee to start looking for a new job as well as their motivations for staying in the job they have.
According to the 2016 Guide the top motivators for job hunting identified candidates in China in order of preference are:
The key retention factors for employees in order of preference are:
Employee vs Employer Salary Increase Expectations
A sizeable 62 per cent of candidates surveyed did not ask for a pay rise in the last 12 months, however research reveals these candidates have higher expectations for the year ahead, which don’t match up to what employers are intending to offer.
In China, 81 per cent of candidates surveyed expect a salary increase of more than 6 per cent but our research reveals that only 60 per cent of employers in China will award more than 6 per cent increases this year.
Employers with modest salary intentions this year will need to pay close attention to the other key benefits candidates and employees value most highly to ensure they can attract and retain the best talent in the year ahead.
At the same time, candidates should do their research and set realistic salary expectations before asking for a pay rise or intending to change jobs this year.
Building a career with one employer is rare in Asia amongst our survey group with only five per cent of respondents lasting up 10 to 20 years with their current employer and only two per cent more than 20 years. Most (31 per cent) have been with their current employer for two to five years, with 27 per cent employed for only up to a year and a further 21 per cent for one to two years. A further 14 per cent have been with their current employer for five to 10 years.
Also read: China’s Top 10 Talent Trends for 2016