Malaysian employees should reskill, upskill to stay relevant: Survey

  • Technology-driven skill sets, ESG experience most in-demand jobs in 2022
  • Employees across all sectors can expect a 3% to 5% salary increment 

Malaysian employees should reskill, upskill to stay relevant: Survey

The annual salary survey by Robert Walters found 63% of 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.

In a statement the recruitment firm states that this survey covers 31 countries including Malaysia and is a comprehensive guide for both employers and employees to access the latest trends and analysis for specific industries.

It said 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.

The industries covered 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 (pic, above) 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 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,” she said.

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 company said.

Therefore, hiring around ESG will be prevalent to meet the needs of socially responsible investors, particularly in financial services, commerce and manufacturing, it said.

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

“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,” said Lu.

Retaining employees

The annual survey which is in its 23rd iteration indicates that employees are now looking beyond attractive performance bonuses, with flexible work arrangement being a priority.

It said it also 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 wellbeing,” said Lu.

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, the survey noted.

While good remuneration remains a key factor to retain employees, the work environment is the most important determinant, the survey found, with 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, it said.

Vaccination and jobs

The company said 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. 

It said the anticipated business recovery has also given rise to a more confident job market scene, with three in every four (75%) respondents optimistic about job opportunities in their respective sectors.

The survey revealed that a whopping 97% of respondents are willing to disclose their vaccination status in order to secure a new role, attesting to the success of Malaysia’ vaccination programme, it noted.

This percentage corresponds with the country’s vaccination progress of over 95% of adults fully vaccinated, it said.

Salary increments

Meanwhile, Robert Walters said the manufacturing industry is expected to thrive due to good infrastructure and government initiatives to attract foreign investors for business expansions.

Therefore, the recruitment market in the northern region will be noticeably fiercer in 2022, the survey said.

With the emergence of new players in the region, roles in semiconductors across all functions from test development, functional testing to operations and process engineering will be in high demand, it said.

Job-movers in this sector can expect a salary increment of 15% to 20% due to new market players competing for the same talent pool, it claimed.

Click here for more information on the Malaysian job market, in-demand skill sets and expected salary ranges. 


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