Half of Maltese employers faced difficulties in meeting workers’ salary demands as the economy continues to boom, a new survey has found.

According to consultancy firm MISCO’s annual survey on human resources, 50% of Maltese employers said meeting new salary expectations was the main recruitment challenges they faced.

Around 60%, meanwhile, mentioned lack of experience or qualifications. 

Last year, the Times of Malta reported how the government was hatching plans to import thousands of workers to meet growing demand for labour.

Employers have routinely complained of not finding enough workers to meet their needs. 

“These results indicate that employers are being faced with a two-pronged challenge – a demand for higher salaries from employees who do not necessarily have the appropriate experience that meets their requirements and a difficulty in attracting talent,” MISCO director Joanne Bondin said.

The survey, conducted between August and September of this year, found that the vast majority of employers in Malta were employing foreigners. Just over three in four employers said that they recruited European Union citizens, while 44% employed third country nationals.

Although the survey also showed that four in five respondents still recruited Maltese nationals, Ms Bondin said the figures confirmed that the labour force was “decidedly becoming multi-ethnic”.

The survey found that retaining employees was mentioned as the top priority by 67% of employers. Other priorities included managing employee engagement and motivation, staff development, strengthening the organisation culture and addressing skills shortages.

Social media has taken over recruitment agencies as the favourite method of recruitment

Around 50% of respondents mentioned a lack of appreciation of the value of the HR section by the rest of management. Difficulties in setting up of an effective performance management system (51%) and a lack of resources in the HR unit (43%) were also highlighted.

The survey looked into recruitment methods deemed the most effective.

Compared to last year, social media has taken over recruitment agencies as the favourite method of recruitment, with 77% seeking people through Facebook and other networks, compared to the 71% who do so through recruitment firms.

They said, however, that the two methods were equally effective at finding recruits.

Close to 90% of respondents said they made use of psychometric assessments – standard and scientific tests used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural style.

Half of employers had a performance management system, of which 90 per cent considered this very or fairly effective in improving overall performance.

Most performance management systems take the form of personal development plans (79%), followed by objectives’ setting and review and self-assessment and appraisal (76%).

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