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Top 1,000: HR Strategies and Favored College Graduates

The Wish List: Sales, R&D, Quality Control

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Over three-quarters of Taiwan's top 1,000 enterprises are planning to hire first-time job seekers this year. Which industries offer the highest salaries? And what qualities are they hoping to encounter in fresh recruits?

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The Wish List: Sales, R&D, Quality Control

By Joyce Li
From CommonWealth Magazine (vol. 371 )

For this year’s vocational-school and college graduates, the Labor Day holiday on May 1 signaled the imminent approach of their first exposure to the job market. If they needed some good news to ease their apprehension, they got it from Cheers magazine’s Survey of Taiwan’s Top 1,000 Enterprises’ Human Resource Strategies and Favored College Graduates.

According to the results of the survey, more of Taiwan’s top enterprises plan to hire new employees this year than last.

The proportion of surveyed enterprises ready to hire young talent fresh out of school rose from 73.3 percent last year to 76.6 percent this year.  Most of the companies said they would hire fewer than 50 people.

Aggregate data for 2007 posted by the online employment broker 104 Job Bank confirms a steadily growing demand for new employees. The website recently clocked a new high for the year, with 238,000 listings for unfilled job vacancies.

Following are some other key findings of the survey:

Financial Sector Offers Premium Pay

The majority of enterprises are offering average starting monthly salaries between NT$25,000 and NT$35,000. Some 43.8 percent were offering between NT$25,000 and NT$30,000, while another 21.2 percent were prepared to pay between NT$30,000 and NT$35,000 to new hires.

The industry most generous to first-time job seekers was the financial sector, in which 10.5 percent of top enterprises were offering starting monthly salaries of over NT$40,000. That far outpaced the ratios seen among traditional manufacturers, service providers, and high-tech manufacturers.

For the second straight year, the service industry again topped the list as the sector with the highest proportion of enterprises planning to hire new employees. Worth noting is that more enterprises in the high-tech manufacturing, high-tech services, and traditional manufacturing categories planned to hire new recruits this year than last.

Salespeople Most in Demand

In terms of the type of jobs companies were offering, sales positions were again at the top of the list (46.9 percent) with posts in research & development (43.7%) and manufacturing and quality control (40.8 percent) close behind.

The qualities that enterprises said they value most are the ability to learn and future potential (77.8 percent of respondents), as well as being able to work as part of a team (65 percent).

Education in the Hiring Process

With college degrees becoming increasingly common, about one-fifth of the enterprises surveyed now favor applicants with master’s degrees.

This phenomenon is most common in the high-tech and financial sectors, with 28 percent and 30 percent of enterprises in those respective fields accentuating master’s degrees.

In recent years, enterprises have lacked confidence in Taiwan’s higher education system, as reflected in the attitudes of human resource managers.

Isabell Yen, Citibank, N.A.’s country human resources director for Taiwan, is forthright about the problem.

“Graduate school education has become a way to make up for the inadequacies of undergrad education,” she says.

Enterprises in the financial sector (72.4 percent) were most interested in the school from which applicants graduated when screening resumes, more so than in any other industry. The high-tech service sector followed behind with 64 percent of its enterprises placing importance on the schools that applicants attended.

Enterprises were also asked how they felt about the latest generation of new job seekers born in the 1980s. The deepest impressions they had was that members of this group were “not afraid to express themselves,” (60.4 percent of respondents) and displayed “a strong willingness to learn on their own and had a high degree of flexibility” (57 percent).

At the same time, 74.3 percent of enterprises believe the quality that this generation needs to improve on the most is “their consistency and ability to withstand pressure.”

Referencing his company’s surveys, 104 Job Bank president Rocky Young notes that 80 percent of this latest generation born in the 1980s believe they are “strong and resolute, and not afraid of being exposed to hard work,” but in fact nearly half of these newcomers to the job market change jobs within a year. Young concludes that their perceptions of themselves exceed the expectations of society.

Translated by Luke Sabatier


About the Survey

This survey targeted human resource managers at CommonWealth Magazine’s 2006 top 1,000 enterprises and was conducted between March 5 and April 4, 2007. Questionnaires were sent out to some 1,600 enterprises, and 409 valid questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 25.56 percent.

Chinese Version: 企業最渴求人才:銷售、研發和品管

Keywords:

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