Increase in hiring seen for key sectors

Medical providers nationwide are working against the clock to curb Covid-19. -Art Chen/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: The hiring market in Malaysia is likely to remain slow and conservative in most sectors in 2021, with growth expected in key areas such as business strategy, digitalisation, healthcare and renewable energy, according to a survey.

The salary survey for 2021, published by Robert Walters, a specialist professional recruitment consultancy firm, said the conservative trend is expected to continue at least for the first half of the year as businesses adapt to the repercussions of Covid-19 and the latest movement control order.

“The overall conservative approach to recruitment in 2021 means that hiring proposals will be strictly scrutinised, and many organisations may opt to recruit internally for available roles to manage costs, ” said Robert Walters Malaysia and the Philippines country manager, Kimberlyn Lu, in a statement.

On remuneration, she said job-movers could expect a lower than usual salary increment of 12% to 15% or below as companies attempt to manage cash flows and employee headcount.

About half of the survey respondents planned to implement a headcount or hiring freeze in 2021 as part of their response to the pandemic.

“However, a large percentage of employers surveyed are also planning to train or upskill their employees (53%) and increase their investment in technology, applications and tools (42%) this year, indicating a continued emphasis on employee and workplace process development, ” Lu said.

The accounting and finance, banking and financial services, engineering, human resources, legal and supply chain job markets are expected to remain conservative, with a few bright spots in high-demand sectors including essential services, technology, healthcare, insurance, risk and compliance, as well as renewable energy.

Meanwhile, sales and marketing positions are expected to see some recovery, especially in jobs pertaining to e-commerce, digital marketing and overall sales, as companies look to consolidate and strengthen their income streams in light of the new normal.

It also said the job market in the technology and transformation segments is set to grow further as companies pay more attention to laying the foundations for their digital operations and protecting that framework to ensure business continuity.

It also found that candidates need to be well-rounded, with not just technical skill sets and necessary experience but also a strong understanding of how the digital sphere interacts with their industry.

The survey was drawn from an analysis of job placements and insights from the agency’s pool of consultants across 31 key global markets, as well as the perspectives of about 650 Malaysian employees across varying levels and industries and about 180 of Robert Walters clients. — Bernama

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