ALMOST one half of employers (45 per cent) in Asia believe that skills shortage has the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or department, according to findings in the 2015 Hays Asia Salary Guide.
The tight labour situation could hinder growth in markets like Singapore, the human resource consultancy said.
Amid the labour crunch, overtime and extra hours worked have increased in 31 per cent of organisations.
Hays' survey of 2,361 employers, representing over four million employees, found that the most difficult professionals to recruit are senior management candidates in sales, accountancy and finance, engineering, marketing, operations and human resources.
But this tight labour situation is coming against the backdrop of positive economic prospects, with some 27 per cent of the respondents seeing a more positive economic outlook on the horizon, 72 per cent expecting their level of business activity to increase in the year ahead, and 64 per cent have already seen an increase in business activity in the 12 months prior to the survey.
This explains why 44 per cent increased permanent staff levels in the past 12 months, and why 48 per cent expect permanent headcount to rise in the year ahead.
Across Asia 43 per cent of employers increased salaries in their last review by 3 to 6 per cent. A further 21 per cent gave increases of between 6 to 10 per cent, and 8 per cent increased above that level.