If companies have not started on their digital transformation journey, they will definitely be doing so in 2019, says a study by Randstad “Market Outlook 2019”. Digitally-adept candidates who have niche technical skills will be highly sought after by employers who are looking to advance their technological capabilities, the study adds.
According to the research, Malaysian employees have expressed a keen interest in training and development to keep their skills up to date and help them stay employable. The study revealed that 96% of employees are willing to invest their own money and time to upgrade their skills and competencies through training programmes. Almost all of the Malaysian employees (99%) aged between 35 and 54 feel that they have to actively look for opportunities to stay competitive.
1. Hiring high-skilled workers
“Hyper-growth segments such as fintech startups and technology firms that are establishing development centers in Malaysia will increase their hiring next year to recruit high-skilled workers who can add value to the business,” says Ryan Carroll Country Director Randstad Malaysia.
As companies digitalize their internal processes and services, the in-demand skills that employers are looking for will differ greatly from what the workforce is equipped with currently. For instance, digitally adept individuals or candidates with niche technical skills will be highly sought after by employers who are looking to advance their technological capabilities.
Recruiting high-performing and innovative technology talent will continue to be a challenge for human resources professionals, Ryan adds. Hyper-growth segments such as fintech startups and technology firms that are powered by blockchain are likely to see higher levels of hiring as they compete for the best tech talent in the candidate-short market.
On the manufacturing front, the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, will also be looking to hire more high-skilled workers who are digitally-enabled to navigate the new environment.
2. Employee experience is ever more important
The Malaysian workforce ranked salary and benefits as the most important driver when choosing an employer. However, “it is important to not lose sight of other equally critical factors that help to create a positive employee experience such as work-life initiatives, flexi-work arrangement options, and career progression opportunities,” suggest the study.
Besides having a more productive workforce that consistently delivers superior performance, companies that invest in employee experience also enjoy greater access to better quality candidates and higher staff retention rates. While salary and benefits remain an important factor for Malaysian employees, a positive employee experience is the key reason why people want to keep working for you, adds the study.
As more millennials enter the workforce, we hope to see companies become more involved in their staff’s personal and career development - an element that the younger workforce expects their employers to provide adequate support and resources in.
3. Getting overseas Malaysians to come back home
As more global enterprises open manufacturing plants and commercial offices in Malaysia to cater to the increasing customer demands, there will be job opportunities for overseas Malaysians who are thinking about coming home.
Employers are extremely keen to hire overseas Malaysians who can share the new learnings they have gained from other countries with their local workforce. Their international experience combined with their deep understanding of local nuances are increasingly sought-after by companies.
4. Companies are hiring critical thinkers
“We have also noticed the increasing popularity of competency-based interviews. Instead of putting candidates through a technical test, interviewers are spending more time asking job seekers how they have managed a difficult situation at work and what they have learned from such experiences, Ryan adds. As technology evolves to be more innovative and interactive, there are some mental skills that will become less valuable, such as having a good memory or recording a mass volume of information and regurgitating it back on reports. This means that employees will need to focus more on added-value activities that machines cannot do. Hence, companies are actively looking for candidates who possess high levels of empathy and strong people management and leadership skills. Candidates who are critical thinkers, creative and innovative in the way they work, and able to have open conversations with others, will also be highly sought-after.
Employers looking to have a competitive advantage in the war for talent should consider providing robust and relevant training courses to get the local workforce up-to-speed on market knowledge and desired skills, suggests the study. It is also critical for companies to not lose sight of other equally important talent attraction factors that can help foster a positive employee experience such as work-life initiative, flexible-work arrangements and career progression opportunities, adds the report.