Demand for digital talent in Taiwan continues to grow unabated. Despite a slowdown in the overall global economy, a thriving local start-up culture, along with intense competition with mainland China and Hong Kong, is fuelling this demand across all industries, but particularly within the marketing sector. Here are four trends currently shaping Taiwan's marketing landscape.

TREND 1: Traditional marketers need to evolve and embrace digital

It's a whole new era of marketing. Companies are transforming and starting to shift budgets into digital. They are investing more and money on digital platforms instead of shooting an expensive TV commercial. Young Taiwanese don't watch television or read newspapers anymore and people are increasingly consuming content on their smartphone and through social networks. For example, I met with a marketing director from the spirits and wine industry, who typically invest heavily in building brand awareness and presence. He was recruiting urgently for someone with digital experience for a brand manager role – another example of clients shifting budget to building up a social and digital presence.

Even for a global consumer beverage company I work with, the digital role doesn't currently exist within the marketing team structure, so the hiring manager is prepared to look at someone more junior or an up-and-coming candidate with potential to do social marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, as well as manage online digital campaigns.

TREND 2: Transferable skills in digital marketing and e-commerce

Traditional marketers may want to move on to do something different but the reality is that clients will not hire someone without the required or relevant experience. My advice for candidates who are looking to grow their career is to really focus on what they've been doing and make it a natural progression.

Ecommerce is very sales-focussed and channel and platform-related compared to digital marketing. Data analysis, business development and sales experience, operational and channel management skill sets are essential. In contrast, digital marketing is more focussed on driving brand engagement through digital campaigns that focus on website traffic, page views, memberships and online to offline conversions.

For example, one of my senior FMCG marketing director candidates joined an airline as a commercial head. You might think his lack of experience in the travel industry would hurt his chances but because he had a good sense of commercial strategy, digital and consumer insights, those relevant skill sets helped him land the job.

TREND 3: Be patient with the hiring process

I always try to inform my candidates about the hiring process and explain why it sometimes drags on. Even though it may seem like there are a lot of digital roles in the market, only a few are really “ready to go” live.

For example, my client dealing in baby care products wanted to set up a digital team, but didn't know how the digital role would fit into the team because this was a totally new role within the organisation. So this will impact the hiring process because they don't know the criteria they're looking for, inevitably impacting time scale. My advice for companies is to ask themselves who will be the internal and external partners for the role and what is the business stage or priority. For example, if client wants to expand partnerships, they will need someone who has a sales background, but if they want to set up their own e-commerce platform, then someone from a direct competitor will help them set up a business model faster.

Candidates also need to ask themselves if this a new, existing or replacement role? What was the challenge for the previous person in the role? Is the hiring manager from a similar background or traditional marketing background? That's a good indication of whether the hiring manager knows what this job looks like and, consequently, what he or she expects from the role.

TREND 4: Despite scarcity of talent, local Taiwanese still have the edge

The good news for Taiwanese candidates is that companies are still leaning heavily towards local talent.  Local language and local insights are still key because whatever they do is closely tied to local business needs. So a non-Taiwanese candidate attempting to come into the local market without the necessary context will struggle.

The flip side, of course, is that it's hard to find local talent. I always tell my clients to take a closer look at candidates and see what can be leveraged, for example, their personality or skill sets — there will seldom be a perfect fit. But if it's a really good digital marketer, then it will be much easier to secure a job and that will also be reflected in the compensation package.

For more, check out our GCN Salary and Employment Outlook here. You can also check out open positions within Taiwan's marketing industry here.
 

Summary

Demand for digital talent in Taiwan continues to grow unabated. The four trends impacting the digital marketing industry are: 

  • Traditional marketers need to evolve and embrace digital: Companies are transforming and starting to shift budgets into digital. 
  • Transferable skills in digital marketing and e-commerce: Traditional marketers may want to move on to do something different but the reality is that clients will not hire someone without the required or relevant experience.
  • Be patient with the hiring process: Candidates also need to ask themselves if this a new, existing or replacement role? 
  • Despite scarcity of talent, local Taiwanese still have the edge: The good news for Taiwanese candidates is that companies are still leaning heavily towards local talent.  
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