PETALING JAYA: Despite an unprecedented pace of growth and adoption of technology hastened by Covid-19, there is a gap between the demand and supply of skilled tech talent available in Asia, including Malaysia, according to one of the leading global US-based enterprise-grade conversational artificial intelligence (AI) companies.
Yellow.ai chief human resources officer Neeru Mehta in responding to queries from StarBiz said there still exists a gap between the demand and supply of skilled tech talent available in the market.
The company is headquartered in the United States and has offices across Singapore, Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
While Asia is rapidly transforming with emerging technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, big data, AI, and the Internet of Things, there is a dearth of talent which would enable the region to make the most of the opportunity, she said.
“Numerous organisations face hiring challenges due to the mismatch between their digital growth ambitions and the shortage of qualified talent to fulfil those goals.
“For Malaysia, another reason behind the tech talent shortage is high talent mobility, with skilled professionals choosing to migrate overseas for better opportunities and higher compensation packages,” she said.
According to Mercer’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Study, talent attraction and retention are top of the mind for Asia’s executives, with seven in 10 executives stating that they face a labour shortage crisis.
When it comes to wooing the small pool of skilled tech talent in the market, Neeru said it is crucial that companies bring their “A-game” to the table, especially with the great resignation already happening in Malaysia.
Recruitment agency, Randstad Malaysia, recently acknowledged that the “great resignation” is already happening in Malaysia. Based on the Randstad Workmonitor survey, the percentage of respondents that have switched employers has increased seven-point, from 29% in March 2021 to 36% in September 2021.
“Businesses today, small or large, need to rethink their employee experience strategies from the employee’s point of view. Especially in the last three years – wellness and an overall holistic approach to personal and professional development are strong driving factors for employees.
“At Yellow.ai, we are championing a strategy that encompasses emotional, mental, financial, and physical wellness, establishing a strong people-first culture across the globe.
“Moreover, companies need to focus on reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling their employees and strategically invest in learning and development initiatives in line with their business goals. Creating an employee experience where even virtually, a team member can truly feel a sense of belonging is also crucial,” Neeru added.
By enabling a tight, interwoven social fabric with communities, she said employers could effectively impact every stage of the experience journey – from onboarding to long-term success.
She said it is this end-to-end experience that companies need to build, shape, and continuously iterate through a continuous feedback loop.
On the larger front, she said businesses need to adopt a mindset of collaboration and partnerships. They need to actively work with the government, industry peers, and the academic sector to promote and contribute to the digital upskilling of the country’s population.
It’s important to create avenues where young talent can not only learn new skills in demand but also apply what they have learned, she said.
“The Malaysia Digital Economy Corp has put into place programmes such as MyDigitalWorkforce Work in Tech, which strives to help people improve their digital literacy, enable access to more high-paying jobs, and facilitate micro, small and medium enterprises to be the drivers of Malaysia’s digital economy.
“Other focused initiatives such as the eUsahawan, Digital Skills Training Directory, and Premier Digital Tech Institute are also working towards achieving the larger goal of nurturing and cultivating the country’s talent.
“To resolve the current talent shortage challenges, a collective force of knowledge, skills, and synergies will be required to help create a stronger and sustainable Malaysian digital economy,” Neeru added.
Among the implications arising from the tech talent shortage she said is that Malaysia runs the risk of being left behind in the race to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution.
This could happen if measures are not taken to boost the country’s production of skilled manpower to meet the upsurge in demand for entirely new talents and skills.
Since markets across the globe are interconnected, a shortage in tech talent would inevitably lead to increased costs of labour, compromised quality, and slower production. Each of these aspects are detrimental to the bigger economic dynamics.
Yellow.ai is trusted across more than 85 countries by 1000 plus enterprises. These include Domino’s, Sephora, Hyundai, MG Motors, Zalora, Zenyum, JD.ID, Mah Sing Group, Biogen International, Edelweiss Broking, Siemens Limited, Food Panda, Carrefour, Kuwait Food Company (Americana), Choithrams, Amouage Oman, Arabian Radio Network, Bharat Petroleum, Waste Connections US and Tata of India.