The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way most of us live and interact with each other, while it also had a huge impact on consumption behaviour and patterns. However, the Maltese labour market continues to grow, as businesses bounce back, with the candidate market currently highly competitive as organisations battle to find the right talent.
We witnessed significant growth in inflation across most world economies in 2022, resulting in increased prices of various goods and services. This has had a knock-on effect for businesses and their employees, which means the biggest challenge now is how to navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
Throughout 2023, wage growth is projected to be relatively strong as employees start demanding additional compensation to maintain their current standard of living.
The patterns emerging throughout Malta
As working patterns continue to grow and adapt throughout most European nations, we’re seeing a trend towards digital platforms in Malta. Over the past 12 months, technology has become a major influencer of change across the business landscape, which suggests organisations will need to transform to become more efficient and effective in the future.
Some areas are growing at exponential rates, including iGaming and financial services. In both sectors, organisations are searching for top talent across all parts of the operation – we are currently receiving requests from employers to help identify professionals with their desired skill sets.
Increasing trends towards digitalisation and remote access, as well as flexible working conditions, are highly indicative of potential pressures on future demand.
Cost of living
2022 was a great year for Malta as all restrictions were fully lifted, which helped the tourism and hospitality industry get back on its feet. Without any restrictions in place, most businesses across the country were operating at full capacity, in order to make up for lost time, resource and profit throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
That said, Malta has not been immune to the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. The ramifications of soaring inflation rates have already begun to take their toll, as many businesses have been forced to raise their prices to counteract escalating costs. As a result, many professionals are looking for higher salaries and increased job security.
Because of this, we would advise businesses to ensure they are keeping new and existing employees engaged by not just offering a competitive salary, but also investing in their careers by promoting development opportunities and offering on-the-job training.
Malta operates in a candidate-driven market, which means it’s harder to find the right candidates for roles, so a focus on retaining existing employees should be considered. Existing employees who are happy and valued can also act as advocates for the company and help show jobseekers it’s a great place to work and develop a career.
An increased priority on skill sets
Over the past year, we have seen demand increase for jobseekers with enhanced skill sets and experience. As HR functions become more specialised, employers are now seeking professionals with higher levels of education for areas such as talent acquisition and learning and development.
There is an increasing number of marketing and sales roles that now require professionals to have some digital experience, and a greater focus on transactional positions like accounts assistants and credit controllers in the accountancy and finance sector. The technology sector has also seen demand increase for many roles, particularly in business intelligence, system administration and software development.
The impact of salaries and benefits on talent acquisition
Salary and benefit expectations among professionals continues to play a huge part in talent acquisition and retention strategies, as Malta remains a desirable country for investment in Europe. We see no reason why this may change throughout 2023 and beyond.
The Maltese job market offers various attractive employment perks in many sectors, as well as growth opportunities for professionals looking to enhance their careers. The benefits in Malta are pretty standard across most sectors: alongside their base salary, the majority of employees benefit from life/health insurance, wellness memberships and annual bonuses. However, the most valued benefit without a doubt is flexible working, which gives employees the chance to focus on their work/life balance, while assisting with commuting costs.
While companies are willing to offer competitive salaries to secure the talent they need, employers want to make sure any potential applicant has the experience, qualifications and skill set to add value to their workforce. Jobseekers can be more desirable for hiring managers by showing their capabilities through critical thinking, work ethic, and professionalism, alongside important traits including teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.
Recruiting and retaining professionals has become the biggest priority for many companies in Malta. Organisations need to ensure they are listening to their employees and looking after their needs in order to become an employer of choice in 2023.