Taiwanese more cautious about career shifts: poll

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE::MRI’s annual survey of Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore found more Taiwanese were willing to consider a job overseas

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - Page 13

Taiwanese professionals are more cautious about making a career change this year as ongoing economic uncertainty cast a shadow over the job market, a survey released by US headhunter Management Recruiters International Inc (MRI) showed yesterday.

Less than 24 percent of 379 Taiwanese respondents said they were looking for new jobs this year, down from 38 percent last year, the poll showed.

MRI conducts an annual survey of Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The latest survey was conducted in November last year with a total of 5,000 respondents.

“The reluctance to change is in line with their caution toward Taiwan’s economy as risk elevates,” Patty Yang (楊于佩), general manager of MRI’s Taiwan branch, told a media briefing in Taipei.

However, 63.5 percent of Taiwanese respondents in managerial positions were willing to relocate overseas in pursuit of higher wages this year, up from 50.8 percent last year, the survey showed.

That was more than Singapore’s 50 percent, China’s 48.5 percent and Hong Kong’s 35.6 percent.

“Based on our survey, unsatisfactory payrolls are the major factory driving local professionals away from home,” Yang said.

The latest government data showed Taiwan’s economy is expected to grow 3.59 percent this year, up from last year’s 1.26 percent growth. However, the MRI poll showed 61.7 percent of respondents said their payrolls were low, compared with 51.6 percent who said so last year.

“People are willing to relocate to overseas for a 5 percent to 10 percent pay raise plus a housing and benefits package,” Yang said.

Taiwanese professionals were paid about 20 percent less than their peers in the Greater China area and in Singapore, Yang said. While they are capable, they lack communication skills and the ambition required for promotion and pay raises, she said.

Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong are the favored places for middle-level Taiwanese managers looking to relocate, the survey showed.

In China, hiring is particularly strong in the retail and luxury goods sectors, Yang said.

“As retailers and luxury brands are opening more and more outlets in China from first-tier cities to second-tier cities, they will need a lot of brand managers,” she said.