Hybrid skills are in demand in Malaysia’s sales industry where employers expect candidates to demonstrate that they can transition seamlessly from function to function.
Most commonly these skills blend include marketing, sales, digital and IT, while in some areas – particularly retail – a working knowledge of social media is very much in demand.
There has been a rise in e-commerce platforms, with more traditional markets – such as interior design and gardening – also moving into the online space.
As a consequence of this boom within a candidate-short market, those with relevant experience and a blend of digital and marketing skills will find employers willing to negotiate salary structures to attract them, with augmentation of between 30 and 40 per cent very much attainable.
“Malaysia is currently undergoing a revolution in its managerial culture,” says Tom Osborne, Managing Director at Hays Malaysia.
“Companies want more hands-on managers, someone who is not just expected to implement strategy and planning, but who is willing to roll up their sleeves and be involved in day-to-day team operations.
“As well as improving efficiency, this shift is a result of Malaysia repositioning its focus from the oil and gas industries, where the expectation is for managers to be more hands-off, to service industries, and consequently the need for more outcome-focused, proactive leaders is increasing.”
Particularly in demand are general managers and country managers, as they are fundamental in not only galvanising these enterprises, but also in expanding business and implementing restructuring strategies.
These managers will be required to demonstrate superlative negotiation skills, be strategic thinkers and possess an excellent industry network, as access to new business is vital.
For mid-level roles, account managers, development managers and e-commerce sales managers are also in demand, particularly those with a degree in their relevant specialism and in possession of strong analytical skills, whilst also being highly adaptable, agile and being willing to develop new functional skills as roles progress.
Those looking to operate in the e-commerce market will also require customer service skills, as the sector is growing at a phenomenal pace and companies understand the necessity of providing an excellent outward-facing service. No matter the level, however, managers should be aware that expectations of their roles have changed.