Article: 91% Malaysians open to switch jobs for higher salary

Compensation & Benefits

91% Malaysians open to switch jobs for higher salary

A recent survey by Randstad found that 49% of Malaysians received a wage increase of over 20% when they changed employers.
91% Malaysians open to switch jobs for higher salary

More than half (54 per cent) of Malaysians believe they are not being compensated fairly for their work contributions, skills, and experience, according to a recent online survey conducted by talent company Randstad Malaysia.

Moreover, of the 30 per cent of respondents who changed jobs in the last year, 49 per cent managed to negotiate a 20 per cent salary increase.

“As global and domestic demands ramp up, companies need to grow and maintain their workforce to continue delivering products and services. One of the tried-and-tested ways to be successful in growing your workforce is to offer an attractive and competitive salary package,” said Fahad Naeem, Country Director at Randstad Malaysia.

According to the findings from the 2023 Salary and Bonus Expectations survey released by Randstad Malaysia today, nearly half (49 per cent) of Malaysian employees have received a salary increment of up to 5 per cent  from their employers in the past three months,  

Additionally, 91 per cent of respondents in Malaysia stated that they would consider changing employers if offered a higher salary. 

Salary is a strong motivator to many Malaysians. “Receiving a higher salary increment every time they change an employer means that talent are able to match their earning power with their international peers. It can also help them meet their financial goals, like buying a car or home, earlier in their lives. Companies that don’t support their employees’ goals may risk losing their best talent and in turn adversely impacting their overall operations and revenues,” said Naeem.

What are the reasons behind employees' high salary expectations?

Malaysian talent's high salary expectations are fuelled by unsatisfactory year-on-year pay increments and year-end bonuses.

According to the survey, 39 per cent of Malaysians were informed that their salaries would not be adjusted in 2023, while 31per cent were informed that they would not receive any bonuses for their work contributions in 2022.

Naeem said inflation and higher cost of living have changed how people choose to spend their money and it is only natural and reasonable that employees seek a higher salary and fair bonus to feel recognised for their work and valued as an employee. 

“To attract top talent and meet their employees’ salary expectations, companies must make a conscientious effort to review and adjust their internal salary and bonus structures to reflect new skill demands and talent expectations.”

What leads employees to believe that they deserve a higher salary?

According to the survey, 35 per cent of Malaysians base their average pay on their job scope and responsibilities. Only 16 per cent of respondents seek input from recruiters, and just 14 per cent use online salary calculators as independent sources to evaluate how much they deserve.

Naaem said relying solely on personal evaluations to estimate salaries is not a fair assessment of one's true worth. Other factors like company budgets, industry averages, and labour market supply and demand must also be taken into consideration. 

“Malaysians could leverage more resources like specialised recruiters and salary calculators that use real-time data to form a more accurate view of how much they should be compensated. Our recruitment consultants often collect data from employers and job seekers which allows us to continuously refine our database and provide more accurate salary benchmarks that reflect current market conditions. The market data that we collect also empower us to negotiate on behalf of our talent so that they can receive a higher salary from their next employer,” he added.

The survey was conducted online with 302 people who were living and working in Malaysia for insights to help employers and job seekers understand new talent expectations and how to navigate today's challenging salary negotiations. 

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Employee Engagement, Talent Management, #appraisalseason

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