- Companies seek talent in gaming, cybersecurity, renewable energy & data analytics
- Cost, flexible work crucial in today’s talent market, with M’sians seeking higher-paying jobs, non-monetary benefits
Randstad, the world’s largest talent agency has released the 2024 Job Market Outlook and Salary Trends Report in Malaysia to help employers and job seekers navigate the job market this year with the latest insights and projections.
Fahad Naeem, country director at Randstad Malaysia said, the country is at a position of growth in 2024. “Driven by foreign investments and domestic demand, we anticipate to see growth in manufacturing, transportation as well as oil and gas,” he added.
Commenting on hiring sentiments in 2024, Fahad said, “Companies will be looking for highly-skilled talent in niche fields like gaming, cybersecurity, renewable energy as well as data analytics. In terms of skills, employers are looking for talent with technical abilities based on past work experiences and certifications. They are also more likely to test problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities during the job interview to evaluate their ability to fulfill the responsibilities.”
According to the report, cost is another key factor in today’s talent market, with many Malaysians searching for employers who can pay them more. Besides financial remuneration, flexible work is a non-monetary benefit that is highly-prized by talent.
However, the key to winning the war for talent in Malaysia is to extend the job offer faster than competitors, particularly when vying for highly sought-after candidates who may be receiving multiple offers, the report notes.
Navigating energy shifts in Malaysia
Despite price uncertainties, Malaysia aims to be positioned as the regional oil and gas hub in Asia Pacific. The sector’s growth is supported by government incentives, including for renewable energy. Given the continued demand for both petrochemicals and renewables, alongside strong government support, we expect to see more engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) projects to boost the sector’s growth, Randstad said.
It added that with many new projects going live in 2024 the firm expects recruitment activities to increase, with strong demand from new sectors such as hydrogen. Therefore, emerging roles that harness AI and big data to improve accuracy and increase efficiencies will be highly sought-after. The top three most in-demand oil and gas roles are in digital oilfield technologies, geoscience and reservoir modeling and renewable energy integration, it said.
Strong resilience in the technology industry amid talent scarcity
Government support in the 2024 budget and beyond has driven workforce investments in cybersecurity, e-sports and regional delivery centers. Most in-demand roles in technology across all industries will include coding (for software developers, programmers and software engineers), automation, e-sports and digital transformation.
The report highlights that employers who are able to offer exposure to different skills through projects – particularly in high growth areas like AI and big data, will enjoy an advantage in recruiting talent. While skills are a big draw for employers, hybrid working is a highly attractive non-monetary benefit for talent. With the ongoing talent shortage, it’s common for candidates to receive multiple offers. It is hence critical for employers to streamline and optimise their hiring processes to make faster offers.
Dynamic growth in HR and legal industries
Due to relatively low operational costs and the large talent pool, the country was ranked the world’s third most attractive location for global services in 2023. In particular demand are individuals with a good understanding of regional or international legal frameworks. The increasing scrutiny on cybersecurity and data protection will also see higher demand for legal and human resources talent with expertise in technology fields.
The report states that developments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) will also drive demand for legal professionals in compliances to navigate complex layers of international and local regulations and reporting standards. However, Randstad expects demand for ESG talent to grow near the reporting deadlines.
The firm states that the top four most in-demand careers in human resources include labour law compliance, human resources information systems (HRIS), compensation and benefits as well as organisational design. On the legal front, the top jobs are found in corporate exercises such as mergers and acquisitions, contract management and compliance, corporate secretarial services as well as privacy and data protection.