Digital Malaysia continues to feed high demand for tech talent, notes November jobs survey

AvantiKumar | Nov. 30, 2017
Regional counterparts are struggling to catch up when it comes to recruitment, according to Monster’s Sanjay Modi

careers jobs (Storyblocks)

Credit: Storyblocks


  According to online job platform Monster's latest Employment Index (MEI), Malaysia has continued to show steady growth in online hiring demand of IT and tech talent in October 2017.

Monster dotCom's managing director for APAC and Middle East, Sanjay Modi (pic below) said that Malaysia's regional counterparts are struggling to catch up when it comes to recruitment.

Modi said Malaysia has seen a sharp hiring spike in the IT, Telecom/ ISP and BPO/ ITES industries in October reporting 41 percent annual growth. "This is 7 percent up from the 34 percent reported in September."

He said Singapore and the Philippines both reported "a slight improvement in year-on-year growth of 5 percent (up 3 percent from last month) and 3 percent in the same sector in October."

Sanjay Modi, MD, (India, Middle East & Southeast Asia) Monster com

The country's IT's hiring spike is echoed by the hardware, software and telecom sectors, which also saw a "somewhat stable demand judging from October's figures, at 60 percent year-on-year growth, he said.

Initiated in Malaysia August 2015, MEI is a monthly index that records the industries and occupations that show the highest and lowest growth in monthly online recruitment activity locally, explained Modi.

The Index is based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities aggregated from a large representative selection of career Web sites and online job listings across Malaysia and not any one advertiser or source, he said.

What's changed?

Looking back to the same period in 2015, Modi told Computerworld Malaysia that general economic uncertainty was one of factors behind a decline in online hiring  in Malaysia, which experienced  a -24 percent year-on-year decline between September 2014 and 2014, dropping from -21 percent year-on-year in August.

At the time, Modi said that across the nine industries monitored by the Index, none of the sectors experienced any positive year-over-year growth.  "The Retail sector saw the least decline in online recruitment activity at -3 percent, while the Oil and Gas sector saw the steepest decline for the third consecutive month, at -25 percent year-over-year." (See - Malaysia's online hiring tumble may reflect global economic uncertainty, says Monster)

Digitisation across sectors - an aspect of Digital Malaysia - is feeding the demand for IT talent. "Tech companies - big or small - are on the lookout for talent with skills such as big data & analytics, data centres, cyber security, DevOps, mobility and IoT," said Modi. 

"Aspiring talent and professionals not only need to excel at what they do, but must also be flexible as the industry continues to switch gears and evolve," he said.

MDEC, as the lead agency in establishing Digital Malaysia, has stepped up efforts on strengthening Malaysia's position as a hub for key digital and industry activities. (See - Malaysia's battle plan for digital disruption: part 1 of an exclusive with MDEC's Datuk Yasmin and Disrupting the disrupters in Malaysia: part 2 of an exclusive with MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin)

Malaysia highlights


Malaysia Top Growth Industries



Year-over-year Growth





% Growth



IT, Telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES





Oil and Gas





Logistic, Courier/ Freight/ Transportation, Shipping/ Marine






Malaysia Top Growth Occupations



Year-over-year Growth





% Growth



Software, Hardware, Telecom





Sales & Business Development





Purchase/ Logistics/ Supply Chain





Comparing Malaysia's numbers with some neighbouring countries, Modi said Singapore, "the only market reporting a decline, saw a slight 1 percent year-on-year drop in the hiring of these professionals in October. Meanwhile, The Philippines saw a 7 percent rise in demand in the same sector, falling back slightly from the 12 per day year-on-year growth reported in September."

"Hiring the right talent across any industry can be a difficult task, but hiring highly skilled tech candidates has its own set of challenges," he added. "In today's rapidly advancing digital setting, companies that understand their tech talent needs and know how to meet them have a competitive edge."

To see recent job related news in Malaysia, visit:

The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.