Malaysian Business Have Potential to Expand Overseas Despite HR Challenges

Specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters releases a whitepaper titled How to attract and retain the right talent to grow your business internationally. The report, with the intent to serve as a guide for the Malaysian (and Asian) companies, identifies and analyses the human resources challenges faced by Malaysian companies looking to grow internationally. These include addressing key issues of how to acquire and retain talent, the challenges, motivators and recommendations companies should consider in their HR strategies.

Having surveyed more than 5,000 HR professionals, hiring managers and candidates at C-Suite, Senior and Middle management level, on the topic of international expansion and talent, the research was conducted in Mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.

With Asian economies continuing to globalise, it is paramount for Malaysian and Asian businesses to grow beyond their home markets. The need for international growth was recognised by the majority of the survey’s respondents with 70% of Asian firms, and 59% of Malaysian firms, stating that they plan to grow their international footprint within the next three years. However, companies that are used to operating only within Asia often struggle when working across borders, due to a lack of internationally experienced talent. That is why 51% of Malaysian and 57% of Asian businesses rate the recruitment of staff with international exposure as very, or somewhat, important. Only 14% of Malaysian employers indicated that the recruitment of local talent with international experience was not important for them at all.

The good news for globalising Malaysian businesses is that 91% of the Malaysian professionals with international experience expressed a willingness to work with a homegrown company, however 39% of these potential employees are fairly passive and need convincing, highlighting concerns over the potential lack of global best practices and structured training and personal development programmes. Likewise, Malaysian hiring managers highlighted that their three main challenges recruiting locals with international experience were higher than expected salaries, difficulties with cultural fit and the lack of quality applications.

Kimberlyn Lu, Country Manager of Robert Walters Malaysia, shares, “It is clear that Malaysian businesses recognise the need for international expansion in order to compete more effectively with the established Western multinationals, but in order to do this they also have to compete to recruit talent with the right mindset. This is why we put together our whitepaper. The research findings, combined with our professional recruitment insights garnered over 30 years, serves as a blueprint which can help Malaysian and Asian businesses to find, recruit, motivate and retain the right talent to help them compete on the global stage.”

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