The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn has had a significant impact across the Asia Pacific, and Malaysia was not spared. With that said, optimism is already starting to show, with about 33% of companies in Malaysia looking to increase their headcount and 40% maintaining status quo in 2021.
This is a finding in Professional recruitment services firm Michael Page Malaysia’s Talent Trends 2021 Report.
Paul Cooper, Managing Director of Michael Page Malaysia, Thailand & Vietnam, says, “From July 2020 onwards, various sectors in Malaysia began to experience steady recovery.
“For example, the technology sector remained buoyant throughout 2020, with businesses placing emphasis on business intelligence, data analytics, as well as software development.”
In view of the economic demands, the sectors earmarked for highest hiring activity are technology & fintech, global business services/shared service centers, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare & life sciences as well as engineering & manufacturing.
According to the report, digital transformation continues to have major implications in the Hong Kong market. The appetite for tech functions across all industries is high, especially in the commerce and financial services sectors.
In addition to Malaysia’s anticipated employment activity, Paul Cooper sees more opportunities for professionals, “Demand for talent within the semiconductors and consumer electronics also sustained the engineering and manufacturing sectors in Malaysia.
“As a major producer of medical devices, Malaysia’s healthcare sector also experienced a significant increase in demand for talent from the manufacturing and supply chain perspectives, specifically those with a strong digital focus around invoicing, tracking and processing.”
According to the report, 66% of employed professionals anticipate looking for new opportunities in 2021 while 31% of respondents say they do extensive research before applying for a job.
This suggests increased employment activity in Malaysia within a candidate pool who are becoming increasingly empowered with a wealth of information.
Paul Cooper advises, “Business leaders are encouraged to remain agile and adapt work practices and strategies to reflect a new working environment. Communication and trust will be key in a remote working world as will the ability to keep an eye on what will no doubt be a rapidly evolving future.”