Nov 6, 2015

When Changing Jobs, Malaysians Choose Money Over Experience, Report Says

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 - Malaysian employees are more interested in getting better salaries than broadening their experience base when moving jobs, according to a study by global specialist recruitment firm Michael Page.

The company found in its 2016 Southeast Asia Salary and Employment Outlook that 48 per cent of Malaysian workers are motivated by money when switching jobs, compared to 34 per cent of respondents in neighbouring Singapore.

In terms of motivation to stay back in a company, 64 per cent of Malaysian employees cited salary as the main reason they would stay back followed by career progression (57 per cent) in a close second, and recognition and benefits (55 per cent) in third.

Regionally, 55 per cent of the employees polled cited salary as the main reason they would stay put in a company, followed by career progression (49 per cent) and global career opportunities (25 per cent).

The recruitment firm said hiring demand in Malaysia remains “reasonably strong”, leading to shortages in many areas that are experiencing a boom such as coding, digital marketing, e-commerce where demand is outstripping supply.

The outlook added that the shared services sector is also experiencing growth, especially in finance, which has prompted universities and colleges to set up partnerships with international accreditation bodies to meet the rising demand.

Also expected to see increased hiring are management and maintenance roles in the construction industry as developers complete a large number of properties, while the procurement and supply chain sectors are likely to need more staff as Malaysia’s economy matures and businesses look beyond pure expansion and look at rationalising costs.

Malaysia will also benefit from the trend among multinational companies that are either shifting their regional or business operations out of Singapore to reduce costs, the outlook said.

The situation, however, remains sluggish in the oil and gas sector due to low global crude oil prices, with national oil giant Petronas and its ancillary companies losing “a lot of expat contractors”, according to Michael Page managing director for Malaysia and Thailand, Paul Cooper.

He noted that job cuts among local staff will depend on whether oil prices rebound or remain weak in 2016.

Cooper said Malaysia is capable of producing graduates with excellent technical skills such as accountants, but stressed that there is a shortage of candidates with strong business and interpersonal skills.

The report noted that the ringgit’s poor performance has also hampered efforts to attract overseas Malaysians from coming back home to work, while hiring foreign talent remains challenging due to visa restrictions and different working culture.

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