Employers need to improve salaries and provide career growth opportunities to retain critical talent, says Kelly Services in new report

The 2020/21 Malaysia Salary Guide by Kelly Services is emphasising on the need for collaboration between the public and private sector to generate more opportunities for jobseekers, and lower Malaysia’s unemployment rate. The report simultaneously stressed the need for digital skills, a key demand by employers across almost every industry.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented in March to curb the pandemic had resulted in a tidal wave of digital transformation across all organisations, substantially increasing the demand for highly skilled talent who are able to quickly adapt to new technologies.

“The new normal has emboldened organisations to explore new ways of working using technology, in an effort to ensure business continuity and productivity,” said Brian Sim, Managing Director and Country Head of Kelly Services Malaysia.

“This transformation is a permanent change and one that has fast-tracked our nation’s journey towards IR4.0. Heading into 2021, digital skills will be fundamental to the employability of jobseekers and will be a vital ingredient to the career progression of those who are already employed.”

Sim added that due to the rise in technological adaption, opportunities for employment continue to spring up across the nation, giving rise to “new collar jobs”. Technical jobs that do not rely on non-traditional education paths, but instead looks at the skills and capabilities of each candidate.

The report highlighted that many new collar jobs can be found within the IT sector, which has been largely unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote work has driven the use of collaborative software, cloud data storage, as well as more advanced technoilogies like artiifical intelligence and machine learning, creating a demand for talent within this sector.

While there has been a slowdown in certain IT segments, the situation is expected to stabilise in the coming year.

“Employers need to also improve salaries and provide career growth opportunities to attract and retain critical talent in their organisation. Hot jobs to look out for in this sector include Lead Software Developer, Information Security Manager, Software Engineer and Analyst Programmer,” the report highlighted.

The boom of e-commerce has also greatly empowered businesses to continue operating and engaging with customers, even when on-ground operations are restricted. This provides ample opportunities for professionals interested in this field, as almost every organisation endeavours to enhance their digital footprint online and on social media.

Social media savvy professionals are highly valued in this sector, as Malaysians continue to rank among the most active social media users on the planet. Highly adaptive and creative individuals will be increasingly sought after by businesses, as digital marketing becomes a top priority for businesses moving forward. Hot jobs to look out for in this sector include Business Development Manager, Marketing Manager and Brand Manager.

“Our focus now should be on regaining our footing economically, leveraging our nation’s talents to spur growth across all industries and sectors. Accordingly, the workforce must adapt to the many technological changes and keep themselves up to date in order to stay competitive in the job market. Organisations should also support their workforce by consistently upskilling them to ensure both the employee and the business remains productive,” added Sim.

To support the nation’s workforce, the Malaysian government introduced the Place & Train scheme under the PENJANA HRDF Initiative to help jobseekers with placement and training. This initiative is a joint effort between the public and private sector and includes companies like Kelly Services and its sister companies under the PERSOLKELLY umbrella.

The initiative has provided over 15,000 employment opportunities for Malaysians, with the number expected to rise in the coming months.

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