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Skills Shortage to Continue in China's Professional Employment Market

Key survey findings: (Source: 2013 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast, China)

  • 51% of employers surveyed anticipate a professional skills shortage in their sector during the next 12 months, and almost half (48%) expect staff to change roles in the coming year.
  • With limited availability of quality talent, the majority of respondents (70%) indicate this will result in the development of more targeted attraction strategies
  • 68% of surveyed employers believe the skills shortage will cause salaries to rise above inflation, a 6% increase on the previous year.
  • Most surveyed employers (36%) are likely to award average salary increases in the range of 8-10%.

18 February 2013: With a continued skills shortage of quality talent likely in China’s professional recruitment market during 2013, many employers will look to develop more targeted attraction strategies to secure the talent they need for their business.

According to the findings of the 2013 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast for China, almost half of all employers surveyed (48%) expect their business will experience some staff turnover during the year and 51% believe there will be a professional skills shortage.

The majority of surveyed employers (68%) believe this skills shortage will lead to salary levels increasing above the rate of inflation; an increase of 6% from the percentage of employers with this view in the 2012 survey. Aligned with this sentiment, most of the employers surveyed (36%) indicate they are likely to award average salary increases in the range of 8-10%. This finding is consistent with the previous year’s survey, where 34% chose 8-10% as the range for average salary increases.

“While general hiring activity is expected to be positive over the coming 12 months, the shortage of quality talent will continue to present a challenge for employers. The limited availability of exceptional professionals is likely to be exacerbated by an increase in staff loyalty and the ongoing shift for employees to stay with an employer for longer in a role and take advantage of training and development opportunities,” says Mr. Richard King, Managing Director of PageGroup in North and Eastern China.

A significant 70% of survey respondents indicate the professional skills shortage in China will lead to the development of more targeted attraction strategies, and highlights attraction and retention as an ongoing business focus and challenge for many employers over the coming year. Further, 32% of surveyed employers believe recognition and reward will be the most important factor for attracting and retaining staff and 28% cite structured career progression as key.

“Employers should consider the spectrum of attraction and retention strategies – both financial and non-financial – to entice new employees to their business and key staff to stay,” says Mr King. “Along with salary increases, work-life balance options and employee benefits remain important and based on the survey findings, employers intend to focus on team building and offsite activities to facilitate work-life balance, and healthcare/health insurance as an employee benefit,” he adds.

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