In 2015, more than 80,000 people in Malta changed jobs[1] – that’s almost half of the working population, which stood at 181,537 in March 2015[2], up from 180,124 in December 2014,[3]. In the 1990s, people remained in the same job for six to eight years. Today, people move on before they reach their fifth year at the company, with millennials being increasingly likely to change jobs even more frequently.

See also: Jobs in Malta

The world of recruitment has changed greatly over the years, and this is no different with recruitment in Malta. Advancements in technology have affected parties on both ends of the recruitment process – candidates and employers – and has transformed the process into a two-way street rather than a process manipulated solely by the recruiting party. As a candidate, technology has had two major impacts on job search: speed and transparency. Likewise, companies have better reach of candidates and easier access to background checks. While, technology has indeed led to tools that have ameliorated the efficiency of a job seeker’s search and an employer’s placement, yet it has also rendered the industry more cut-throat. Not only are job seekers competing against others looking for the same role, but employers now also need to do their best to push branding to attract the best talent to their company, before others in the same industry. Yet, in Malta, word of mouth is still extremely powerful, even when it comes to finding jobs, with 52% of job seekers exclusively using this technique[4].

Changes in the labour force

In recent years there has also been a gradual shift in the state of Malta’s human resources. In some sectors, such as Financial Services, IT, Healthcare and Engineering, demand exceeds supply of skills however in other sectors supply by far exceeds demand. The lack is primarily in the technical skill or qualification required for positions in such industries. The void stems from a shortage in the number of professionals graduating from tertiary level institutions. The market has been primarily adjusting in two ways: employers are resorting to attracting for talent outside of Malta, in some cases extending the search outside the European Union; and people have been upskilling and filling in gaps, through nontraditional educational pathways as well as on the job training.

According to the Employability Index of 2015, most graduates in Malta land jobs quite quickly, but are Malta’s academic institutions preparing students enough for the industries they will later work in? Sourcing talent for specialised environments requires a good understanding of the industry, the business and the direction things are developing towards. While skill is generally taught on the job, theoretical background might not always be up to par and therefore it is important for employers to work closely with educational institutions to provide the necessary academic background to cater for such talent. It is equally important for students to learn soft skills to start and further their careers – such as negotiation skills, dealing with difficult situations, selling oneself successfully and excelling in an interview.

From a recruitment perspective, agencies have a very valid part to play in sustaining Malta’s economic growth. Recruitment agencies are no longer simply regarded as suppliers of CVs. The relationship is more of a business partner, where the recruiter understands and actively participates in solving business needs and strengthening a company’s human resources strategy. Agencies are critical at closing the gaps by either directing candidates at where the gaps in the market exist or at attracting talent from overseas.


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[1] Engagement & Termination data, Employment & Training Corporation, 2015 – Dataset does not show unique entries but shows total engagements registered.

[2] Labour Force Study Q4/2015, National Statistics Office

[3] Labour Force Study Q4/2014, National Statistics Office

[4] Recruitment Agency Perception Survey – Esprimi, May 2015