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China’s tight talent market: The skills shortage may hinder growth warns Hays

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Almost one half (45 per cent) of employers believe that the skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department, according to findings in the recently released 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

The survey of 2,361 employers, representing over four million (4,017,026) employees, found that the most difficult professionals in China to recruit are senior management candidates in sales, marketing, research & development, engineering, accountancy and finance, operations, technical, human resources and IT (please see below table). 

Finding entry to mid management candidates in sales, engineering, technical, research & development, operations and marketing is also challenging in China.

Percentage of Chinese employers who find it difficult to recruit the following professionals: 


These shortages, according to employers, may hinder the effective operation of their department or business.

In response, and despite the increasing trend to localise the workforce, 65 per cent of employers said they will consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas or expatriate candidate in skill-short areas.

“This particular finding demonstrates the extent of Asia’s talent mismatch and the severe shortage of suitably skilled local professionals in many industries and sectors,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

“It also highlights the need for employers to continue innovating to attract candidates in a tight labour market. This is especially important since 48 per cent of employers told us they expect their permanent staff levels to increase in the year ahead and 72 per cent expect their level of business activity to increase.

“With hiring plans remaining strong in most sectors and industries, more pressure will be added to the tight talent market to produce the highly-skilled local professionals that employers need.

“For China’s job seekers, this presents a great opportunity to secure a job that can offer you career advancement or long-term career progression. By focusing on your long-term career objectives, rather than short-term financial benefits, the current market can provide the opportunities you need to get your career to where you ultimately want it to be,” Christine said.  

Get your copy of the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2015 iPhone app from iTunes.

In China Hays operates from four local offices: Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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About Hays

Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.

Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.

Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 30 June 2014 the Group employed 8,237 staff operating from 237 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2014, Hays placed around 57,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 212,000 people into temporary assignments. 24% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific.

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.