Malaysia Highest In Active Jobseekers In Asia, Search For Better Salary Tops Reason For Job Change

According to Hays Asia’s latest Salary Guide, Malaysia continues to register the highest number of active jobseekers in Asia.

The Guide compiles and presents salary and sector overviews based on real data and a survey of skilled professionals across China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Over 9,500 responses were collected between October to November 2021. 

39% of Malaysian respondents said they were actively looking for a new job, while 46% said they were open to opportunities. Comparatively, the proportion of active jobseekers was 35% in Japan, 29% in Hong Kong SAR, 26% in Singapore, and 23% in China.

The search for a better salary package was overwhelmingly the top reason why respondents were looking to change jobs (75%). 49% said they were seeking new challenges, while 48% wanted better benefits like healthcare insurance and allowance.

“After two years of suppressing their demands for salary raises, it is unsurprising that workers in Malaysia are taking matters into their own hands in search of a pay package that meets their expectations, or at least comes close,” says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.

Salary package was also one of the second most important factors keeping employees in their current jobs (51%). Work-life balance was the top retention factor but not by much, at 52%.

Many are putting their plans to change jobs into action by developing their skills. 55% are spending time on developing soft skills, 32% on developing hard skills, and 13% on getting higher or additional qualifications. Most people reported spending about 1-2 hours per week on upskilling.

Given the inclination of employers to increase salaries this year, Tom encourages job seekers, active or otherwise, to continue working on developing key skills.

“21% of respondents said they were not doing anything to upskill themselves, which in our rapidly evolving world of work, would put them at a disadvantage. Focus on working on the skills that employers are looking for,” Tom says. “Analytical skills and communication skills are the hard and soft skills employers said they value the most.”

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