Engineering skills hardest to find, says Hays

Engineering and sales skills top the list of those in most demand, according to employer feedback canvassed for the 2012 Hays Salary Guide.

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

Of 900 employers surveyed for the Hays Salary Guide, 24 per cent said they have recently found it difficult to recruit engineering staff at the junior to mid management level, while 19 per cent faced difficulty at the senior management level.

22 per cent of employers said they have found it difficult to recruit sales candidates at junior to mid and senior management levels.

Employers also report difficulty when recruiting technical skills at the junior to mid management level (17 per cent), IT skills at the junior to mid management level (16 per cent) and accountancy and finance skills at the senior management (15 per cent) and junior to mid management level (14 per cent).

Employer survey result:
For which areas have you recently found it difficult to recruit?

 Junior to mid managementSenior management
Human Resources12%14%
Accountancy & Finance14%15%
Property/Facilities Management5%5%
Research & Development11%9%


“Skills shortages have been a recognised business challenge for some time, but our findings put the spotlight on exactly which skills employers are finding most difficult to source,” said Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

“Despite the global economic environment, Asia remains resilient and almost all (95 per cent) of the employers we surveyed said skills shortages have the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department.

“This means that finding a way to bridge this skills gap will be critical in the months and years ahead.”

According to Hays, one way to do this is to consider flexible staffing solutions. “Already this is a strategy employers are turning to, with one in two reporting that they have utilised a flexible staffing approach in the last 12 months,” said Marc.

“Of these, the most common approach was temporary or contract staff, which was utilised by 69 per cent of employers. This was followed by the employment of part-time staff (utilised by 37 per cent), casual staff (utilised by 25 per cent) and job sharing (utilised by 11 per cent).

“Another strategy is overseas skills. According to our survey, 66 per cent of employers said they would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate in skill-short areas.

“Some employers are also attempting to overcome the skills shortage by counter offering staff when they resign. 66 per cent said they sometimes counter-offer staff and seven per cent always counter-offer staff when they resign.”

Out now, the 2012 Hays Salary Guide reveals salary and recruiting trends for 1,000 roles across Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Japan. You can access the Hays Salary Guide at, by contacting your local Hays office or by downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2012 iPhone app from iTunes.

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

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For further information please contact Paula Tychsen, Marketing Executive – PR & Communications of Hays, on +612 8226 9739 or

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