83% of working professionals in Malaysia are expecting a salary increase in 2022. This is based on the findings in the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide, more people are expecting higher increments, with 19% expecting a salary increase of 6-9%, while 24% expect an increase of 10% and above.
In a statement, it said that comparatively, while more employers in Malaysia reported the likelihood of increasing salaries this year, the increments are smaller than what employees are expecting. Only 10% of employers anticipate increasing salaries by 6-9%, 5% planning to increase salaries by 10% or more.
“After suppressing their demands for pay raises and bonuses last year, it is unsurprising that Malaysians are expecting higher compensation in 2022,” says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.“However, many organisations are still operating on tight budgets as they focus on navigating their way out of the crisis and returning to growth. It is imperative that organisations manage this expectation gap with care.”
This is especially important given that employers are keen to hire more aggressively in 2022. 50% of employers in Malaysia expect to increase their permanent headcount this year, compared to just 27% in 2021. Within organisations, the top three functions where hiring is prioritised are Technology, Accountancy & Finance, and Engineering/Manufacturing.
Yet, 38% reported a lack of confidence to hire the skilled talent they need. Consequently, talent retention strategies are of utmost importance in 2022 given the stronger hiring appetite of Malaysian employers.
When developing or adjusting talent strategies, consider what else could serve as motivation for new or current staff, Tom advises.
“Salary aside, those who are on the lookout for new opportunities are in search of new challenges, career progression, and better healthcare and allowance benefits. Those who choose to remain with their current employer are doing so for the work-life balance, career progression, and flexible working options.”
“Compensation in the form of revised bonus structures, better benefits, promotional opportunities, or even greater flexibility at work could go a long way in bridging the salary expectation gap and boost talent retention.”