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Employee and expatriate confidence in Malaysia job market soars

Key Survey findings: (Michael Page Employee Intentions Report, Malaysia 2012)

  • 40% of Malaysian-based employees believe it highly likely they will change jobs in the next six months due to a strengthening employment market and greater volume of opportunities.
  • Career development opportunities and financial reward key to attracting and retaining staff.
  • Of expatriates returning to work in Malaysia, 48% will be aged between 30 and 39.
  • Returning expatriates will most likely look for work in the accounting and finance sector.

12 April 2012: A strengthening job market and increasing confidence among Malaysian jobseekers over the next six to 12 months is likely to lead to greater competition for top talent, according to findings in the Michael Page Employee Intentions Report for Malaysia, 2012. With an improving recruitment market, Malaysian-based employers will need to revise their attraction and retention strategies to keep their best talent.

Positive business conditions coupled with government initiatives to provide training and development opportunities to local workers is creating a high level of confidence among white collar professionals, with some 67% of survey respondents based in Malaysia considering the market to be strong or very strong.

Optimism in the country’s employment market is also being felt by expatriates, the majority of who currently work in Singapore, with 56% of the opinion that Malaysia’s current job market is strong or very strong. Further, 59% predict an improvement or significant improvement compared to last year’s employment market. This sentiment is expected to translate into heightened job seeker activity with around 40% of Malaysian-based professionals surveyed reporting it highly likely they will change jobs within the next six months and many expatriates also considering a move home for work.

“Local employees and expatriates alike are positive about the prospect of new career opportunities to become available over the next 12 months. With the government’s aim to boost business activity and the associated Talent Corporation Malaysia initiative to provide professionals with training and development opportunities, jobs growth is expected,” says Mr. Paul Cooper, Regional Director of Michael Page International in Malaysia.

“Companies will be expanding their headcount to secure the best talent in these positive market conditions. With increased competition in the job market among local professionals and returning expatriates, employers will need to implement effective strategies to keep top performers in their business,” Mr. Cooper adds.

For Malaysian-based professionals intending to seek new employment opportunities, career growth (46%) and a salary increase (20%) are the two main reasons cited. These two reasons will also influence employees to remain with their current employer, with 39% of survey respondents citing career development opportunities as a reason to stay, followed by financial reward (35%).

”Based on these findings we know that companies offering structured career development opportunities and the most competitive salaries will be in the best position to both attract and retain their best people. This is particularly important as the local job market receives an influx of potential talent, including returning expats with international experience,” says Mr. Cooper.

Of the expatriates returning to Malaysia, nearly half will be aged between 30 and 39 (48%) and most will return to work in Malaysia for family reasons (59%). These professionals will seek employment opportunities in the accounting and finance sector, as a first preference.