The Taiwan job market has been robust over the last two years due to global tech talent shortage. In 2023 the market will be facing uncertainties amidst waning export demand, looming recession and geopolitical tension but will still remain short of candidates. Companies are expected to face challenges in hiring quality candidates and building a sustainable workforce post-pandemic, according to the digital Salary Survey 2023.
Despite Taiwan government implementing various policies to support domestic industries and attract foreign investment, 2023 is set to be a challenging time for recruiting the right talent due to uncertainties. A candidate short market will persist – 57% of professionals are looking to change jobs in 2023 with 90% of them putting more emphasis on job stability. Average salary increments will vary across industries and skills and are anticipated to be around 10-15%. However, with the widespread global skill shortages, companies may scramble to fill some vacancies requiring new tech and niche skill sets, with those professionals expected to command over 25% pay rise.
Tech sector will remain globally competitive
The tech industry has seen a string of massive layoffs in the US in the face of uncertain economic conditions and the crypto market slump. The Taiwan tech sector may enter a cyclical downturn with a softened hiring market in 2023 due to cooling demand, oversupply and exceptionally strong growth over the last few years. Nevertheless, with Taiwan being the leader in semiconductor and foreign tech companies still keen to invest in Taiwan, there will be a strong demand for skilled talent in the long run. This includes areas such as electrical vehicle applications, cloud/enterprise server and 5G base station. Top skills in demand will include software development, cyber security, DevOps/SRE for the Software & IT sector, and analog design, digital design as well as design verification for the semiconductor sector.
Survey found that 78% of software, semiconductor & IT professionals and 65% of electrical products & industrial professionals are expecting a pay rise in 2023. Despite a return of some overseas professionals, the competition of top talent will remain fierce with only 50% of surveyed Taiwan tech talent looking to change jobs in the next 12 months due to the concern in job stability.
Take a skills-based approach to building the future workforce
Skilled talent across all sectors will become even more scarce in Taiwan especially for hard-to-fill roles, such as software engineers. The survey revealed that 85% of employers are concerned about a skill shortage in their field of hiring.
Instead of competing over a small pool of talent with similar credentials, which will only inflate salaries and costs, companies are advised to look beyond the resume and shift towards a skills-based hiring strategy – identifying and selecting candidates based on their specific skills and qualifications, rather than solely on their experience or education.
Create a sustainable workforce to avoid gaps in expectations
Apart from the talent shortage, 60% of employers reported the challenge of unmatched salary expectations during the interview process and 59% of them experienced high competition for candidates from competitors’ counteroffers and buy-backs. The disconnect between the expectations of employers and candidates was mainly driven by the proliferation in salaries and employee benefits to compete for talent during the pandemic in Taiwan, and underscores of the growing importance of non-financial benefits to attract and retain staff.
To create a sustainable ecosystem in a longer run, companies are strongly advised to offer a comprehensive package including flexible working arrangements, opportunities for learning and development, solid ED&I strategies etc. if they are to win over employees without continually increasing their salary offers.
Develop a more humanistic workplace to retain employees
Another challenge faced by employers in Taiwan is navigating the transition back to pre-pandemic, and to ensure productivity, engagement, and well-being are upheld at the same time. Many employees have experienced working from home for the first time during the pandemic and as a result appreciate the flexibility and autonomy that this new norm can provide, especially among the HR professionals (42% surveyed). At the same time, professionals have experienced a blurring of lines between work and personal life, leading to a desire for more work-life balance going forward.
Employers are advised to adapt to the accelerated shift towards a more flexible and employee-centric workplace culture and have strategies in place to mitigate the potential descriptions with the transition back to the office, as employees are now expecting their employer to be more responsive to their wellbeing and more adaptable to change.
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