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Robert Walters Encourages Malaysian Employees to Reskill & Upskill to Stay Relevant

Open communication and inspiring workplace culture are also most valued by employees.

by Gopalakrishnan Nair
Robert Walters Country Head for Malaysia and Philippines Kimberlyn Lu

In a global survey covering 31 countries including Malaysia, professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters found that there is room for Malaysians to reskill and upskill to stay competitive in the future job market.

The annual salary survey by Robert Walters found 63% Malaysian employees in the mid- and senior-level positions confident of their current skill sets staying relevant in the next five years, indicating room for reskilling and upskilling to stay competitive in the future job market.

The Malaysia Recruitment Country Overview

The industries covered in the Robert Walters Salary Survey are accounting and finance, banking and financial services, engineering, human resources, legal and corporate secretarial, sales and marketing, supply chain, procurement and logistics, and technology and transformation.

Skill Sets
Robert Walters Country Head for Malaysia and Philippines Kimberlyn Lu said, “In 2022, Malaysian-based companies will continue to accelerate digital transformation and automation. Technology-driven roles namely artificial intelligence, e-commerce and digital marketing are expected to be on an upward trend. Data analytics is a highly sought-after skill that will be in demand across all functions, such as in human resource, risk management, banking and finance. In today’s data-rich world, companies will be seeking to hire professionals who can study, dissect and interpret data to help make sound business decisions.”

The increasing importance of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) among corporates is translating into demand for employees with experience in ESG and sustainability practices. The hiring around ESG will be prevalent to meet the needs of socially responsible investors, particularly in financial services, commerce and manufacturing.

Employees with digital and e-commerce skill sets will continue to thrive, especially on the sales and marketing front of the FMCG sector.

“Reskilling and upskilling are essential to staying relevant into the future. As the economy reopens and business activities pick up pace, market conditions will improve and along with it, job opportunities seeking enhanced skill sets,” Kimberlyn Lu added.

Retaining Employees
Employees are now looking beyond attractive performance bonuses. Flexible work arrangement is a priority. The annual salary survey which is in its 23rd iteration found that as many as 44% of candidates will decline a new position if no flexibility is offered.

“In a climate where work-from-home or hybrid work model has become the new norm, organisations should look into providing work flexibility whenever possible to complement employees’ lifestyle and promote well-being,” Kimberlyn Lu explained. Due to the high demand for talent in certain industries, employers are encouraged to proactively nurture open communication and an inspiring workplace culture to retain employees.

While good remuneration remains a key factor to retain employees, the work environment is the most important determinant. Over half the respondents (54%) cited having colleagues and culture that inspire them to do their best is an aspect they value most in an organisation. “Open communication and positive employee experiences will be highly favoured, helping to retain good talent,” Kimberlyn Lu added.

Vaccination and Job Market
The reopening of the economy has led to a strong rebound in hiring activity in the country across all sectors, from financial services and consumer segments to healthcare and manufacturing. 45% of respondents echoed this sentiment, as they are already looking for a new opportunity in the sectors. The anticipated business recovery has also given rise to a more confident job market scene. Three in every four (75%) respondents are optimistic about the job opportunities in their respective sectors.

The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme has contributed to Malaysia being one of the most vaccinated nations in the world. The survey revealed that a whopping 97% of respondents are willing to disclose their vaccination status in order secure a new role, attesting to the success of the vaccination programme. The percentage corresponds with the country’s vaccination progress of over 95% adults fully vaccinated.

2022 Salary Increment
In the Northern region, the recruitment market will be noticeably fiercer in 2022, fuelled by the arrival of investors. Manufacturing industry is expected to thrive due to good infrastructure and government initiatives to attract foreign investors for business expansions.

With the emergence of new players in the region, roles in semiconductor across all functions from test development, functional testing to operations and process engineering will be in high demand. Job-movers in this sector can expect salary increment of 15 to 20% due to new market players competing for the same talent pool.

Reflecting on the overall findings of the Robert Walters Salary Survey 2022 in Malaysia, Kimberlyn Lu shared, “All organisations will have general annual salary reviews in 2022. Employees across board all sectors can expect salary increment of 3% to 5% from their current companies. Job-movers can look forward to having increment starting from 15%, and can possibly garner up to 30% if they have the right skill sets.”

In general, the salary increment and job opportunities are dependent on the industry and skill sets.

The global salary survey by Robert Walters, the award-winning and world-leading professional recruitment consultancy, covers 31 countries including Malaysia. This Robert Walters Salary Survey is a comprehensive guide for both employers and employees to access to the latest trends and analysis for specific industries, helpful tools and resources, as well as video updates on market conditions from a panel of industry specialists.

The survey also canvassed attitudes and views of existing work practices, providing an overview of the current job market, in demand skill sets and salary expectations for eight key industries in Malaysia.

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