Across the Asia Pacific region, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant blow to the global economy across all sectors and markets in 2020.
According to the ‘Talent Trends 2021 Report’ by Michael Page Taiwan, job vacancies dropped by 8% to 35% depending on the location. Several businesses reported a conservative approach to their hiring strategy, choosing instead to freeze or even reduce their headcount to reduce costs.
Taiwan’s job market stands apart, with 89% of professionals indicating an interest in changing jobs. The most substantial demand for talent comes from the technology and sustainable energy industries.
“As economic activity picks up in Taiwan, companies are likely to compete for high potential experts, which means it is even more important for companies to stand out from the competition with strong employer branding,” said Mark Tibbatts, managing director of Michael Page Taiwan.
Sustainable energy companies, in particular, are willing to offer average salary increases of more than 18% for new hires in 2021, the highest of any industry. Seventy-eight percent of professionals in this industry said that they would seek new opportunities in 2021.
“Sustainable energy is earmarked to be the strongest performer, being the largest emerging sector in Taiwan by 2020 and a key link in Taiwan’s economic strategy,” said Tibbatts.
Still, Taiwanese companies need to focus on innovation, product development, and supply chain management to succeed this year.
‘These areas will help companies find new revenue streams and get through the recovery with a stronger and more powerful posture. Moreover, Taiwan’s economy still has a strong need for a quality workforce,” said Tibbatts.
For Taiwanese employees, mental health and wellbeing remain at the forefront of job seekers’ priorities when identifying an employer of choice. Sixty-five percent of respondents ranked the company’s culture above ‘possible career growth opportunities’ (54%) and ‘company mission and values aligned with theirs’ (53%) when selecting a potential hiring manager.
Beyond Taiwan, the report noted that new ways of working are emerging rapidly across the region as employees adapt to the new normal. Sixty-eight percent of companies said they intended to increase investment in technology and digital tools in 2021.
Digital tools and organization redesign continue to be viable options to bridge skill gaps arising, with 20% of companies in the Asia Pacific prioritizing short-term contractors/temporary employment in their 2021 hiring strategy. It is an increase from 15% in 2019.
The initial enthusiasm for remote working is waning. While four in five employees were found to feel equally or more productive working from home, only 5% of them prefer to work entirely remotely. It indicates a need for frequent social interaction with co-workers.
Meanwhile, companies are readjusting their performance evaluations to adjust to the new reality, with 51% saying they have done as such. Management teams are reassessing individuals with greater importance placed on positive behaviors, while 64% of companies rated team collaboration as the most valued employees attribute during times of crisis.
Image credit: iStockphoto/manjik