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Malaysia’s New Employment Landscape Needs All-Round Talent

PERSOLKELLY Malaysia has recently published the 2021/22 Malaysia Salary & Employment Outlook, which highlighted that technical and soft skills could provide a strategic advantage to Malaysian jobseekers.

by Gopalakrishnan Nair
Brian Sim

The 2021/22 Malaysia Salary & Employment Outlook by PERSOLKELLY Malaysia was published today, providing definitive salary benchmarks across key sectors in the country.

As the nation continues to battle the impact of Covid-19, the past year has seen a wave of change in the Malaysian employment landscape, centred around the adoption of digital solutions that enable remote work to maintain business continuity amidst nationwide movement restrictions.

This wave of change has highlighted the importance of technical and soft skills in the Malaysian employment landscape, irrespective of the role and industry. Brian Sim, the Country Head and Managing Director of PERSOLKELLY Malaysia, pointed out that employer expectations have shifted from emphasising on academic qualifications to prioritising relevant skills when recruiting talents.

“Nowadays, companies favour all-rounders who possess both technical and soft skills more than candidates who have academic qualifications only,” added Sim. “This should not discourage students from completing their studies because academic qualifications remain as valuable investments which are good to be highlighted in the resume. Instead, it should encourage jobseekers and fresh graduates to diversify their skill set so that their skills are relevant to the needs of the industry that they are interested to join.”

Finance and Accounting

The pandemic saw accelerated adoption of AI and machine learning among finance and accounting practitioners, providing significant advantages in an industry that relies heavily on accurate data and analysis.

By leveraging new technologies, organisations in this industry are able to enhance their efficiency by automating menial tasks and speeding up critical data analysis, allowing for quicker response times and data-driven decision making.

Familiarity with new technologies and digital solutions will provide an invaluable edge for those who are interested in joining this industry. Candidates that are digitally savvy and equipped with the requisite soft skills will bring immense value to any finance and accounting role, setting themselves apart from the crowd.

Hot jobs to look out for in this sector in 2021 and 2022 include Financial Controller, Tax Manager, Finance Manager, Accountant and Finance Executive.

Information Technology

Remote work has driven significant growth in the IT sectors, as organisations continue to make efforts to integrate IT into their operations. The role of IT professionals is expected to be increasingly important as more and more businesses embrace digitalisation.

Additionally, as more organisations operate virtually, the need for IT professionals specialising in cybersecurity will continue to rise as their skills will be necessary to mitigate the risks posed by cybersecurity incidents.

With the Malaysian government focusing their efforts on digitalisation to accelerate economic recovery, digital transformation across all sectors will be inevitable and IT professionals will play an active role at all stages of digitalisation within an organisation. Among the key IT jobs to look out for in the coming year include Project Manager, IT Supply Chain Manager, BI Consultant, Java Developer and Information Security Manager.

Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing used to thrive on physical and human interactions, but today it has transformed to focus more on virtual platforms. The ease at which customers can interact with brands and perform transactions online, mean that brands see great value in digital advertising and engaging influencers on social media.

This makes professionals working in this field extremely important to the future growth of any brand. As more Malaysian businesses are expected to invest in advertising, talent in this field will be increasingly in demand in the years to come.

Upskilling will be the key to success in this sector, as professionals will need to have a deep understanding of new market analysis tools, whilst consistently keeping abreast with the latest digital platforms and advertising methods to drive value for the brand. Hot jobs in this sector include Sales Manager, Key Account Manager, Brand Manager and Customer Service Executive.

For employers, focus should be placed on safeguarding the mental wellbeing of their workforce. Since the start of the pandemic, mental health disorders have continued to rise, with Gen Z workers being the most impacted by it.

“The importance of mental health cannot be understated. The direct link between employee happiness and business productivity has long been proven, yet there is much more that needs to be done to protect the mental health of workers in Malaysia. This is especially true in the current business environment, as remote work can cause employees to become stressed or burnt out. Business leaders and HR practitioners will play an important role in preventing this from happening, providing platforms and outlets for employees to reach out if they need help.”

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