Competition for first-time jobseekers may be tougher this year amid a slowdown in hiring, while the number of college graduates increases, a survey released by a local job agency showed yesterday.
The 104 Job Bank’s (104人力銀行) database showed that the total number of positions filed by employers declined 5.5 percent last month from a year earlier.
Positions offered to first-time jobseekers accounted for 41.7 percent of total offers last month, down from the 43.9 percent posted a year ago, the online job agency said in a report.
To make the situation worse, the number of college graduates is expected to rise 1 percent, or 3,000, from a year ago to 333,000 this year, the report said.
The job bank’s marketing director, Regis Chen (陳力孓), attributed the trend to global economic uncertainties, which had a negative impact on Taiwanese exports and further dragged down demand for new employees in export-oriented industries.
Positions open to first-time jobseekers in the electronics sector showed a decline because of the impact, it said.
However, demand for first-time jobseekers in industries focusing on domestic demand, especially for retailers and restaurants, showed an increase this year Chen said.
Positions offered to first-time jobseekers by these domestic-oriented industries totaled 12,635 last month — up 2.25-fold from five years ago — with the retail sector leading the increase, data showed.
In related news, a government poll released yesterday showed that one of the hardest questions job applicants faced was why did they leave their previous job.
The poll conducted by the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training’s eJob Web site showed that 28.05 percent of interviewees found it difficult to explain why they had quit their previous employment, while 11.87 had trouble answering why they wanted the job they were applying for.
Other questions that applicants struggled with included why they were worth the salary they were asking for (10.73 percent) and how they would solve the world’s hunger issues (9.92 percent), according to the poll.
The questions that most employers ask in an interview are meant to determine why the applicant chose to apply for the job and to identify their work values, the eJob poll said.
The Web site suggested that interviewees avoid complaining about their previous job and try not to appear too desperate to find a new position because these factors are used to evaluate attitude.
In addition, applicants should prepare for their interviews, which would make them less nervous, the site said.
On the issue of salary negotiation, eJob recommended that applicants project confidence, provide documents to prove their ability and talk about their contributions in their previous job to justify their salary demands.
The survey, conducted from May 1 to May 31, received 1,230 valid responses.