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'Brain drain' remains a top challenge in Malaysia: Asia Job Index

AvantiKumar | Aug. 6, 2015
2015 Q2 Asia Job Index: Weakened Ringgit and falling oil prices affecting investor confidence, said Robert Walters Malaysia's Sally Raj.

Sally Raj  - Robert Walters MalaysiaPhoto - Sally Raj, Country Manager, Robert Walters Malaysia


According to recruitment firm Robert Walters' Asia Job Index 2015 Q2 results, attracting and retaining talent remains a top challenge in Malaysia.

Sally Raj, Robert Walters Malaysia country manager, said: "Employment in Malaysia saw a better Q2 aftermarket apprehension around the GST [Goods & Services Tax] implementation in April cooled off."

"Generally, positions that were put on hold in Q1 also saw fruition this quarter due to the reduced economic tensions," said Raj. "On the upside, the FMCG and consumer industries remained fairly resilient to the GST implementation as Malaysians accustomed themselves to the price hikes rather quickly.".

"We also saw increased recruitment activity within the shared services space among accounting and finance professionals, as many of them had clocked in two years' work experience and felt it was time to explore other job opportunities," said Raj.

More challenges

 "The Malaysian market however faced more challenges: the largest two being the fall in crude oil prices, which had a direct impact on the country's export economy, as well as the weakened Ringgit," she said.

"These affected investor confidence, and hence a majority of hires were replacement roles or a result of expansion within existing companies as opposed to demand from new entrants," said Raj.

She said key takeaways from the latest survey included:
- In efforts to stem the talent brain drain, companies tightened acquisition and retention policies with more flexible employee benefits. This led to a notable 43 percent yearly growth in job advertising for HR professionals, particularly those specialising in talent management as well as compensation & benefits.
- The drive from multinationals to centralise purchasing functions in Malaysia fuelled the demand for procurement professionals to achieve cost efficiency, increasing advertising for such roles by 24 percent annually.
- As e-commerce continues to grow and develop, businesses strengthened their back office technology infrastructure to cope with the increasing demand. This drove an increase in advertising volumes for IT jobs of 12 percent year-on-year.
- Recruitment in the traditionally active legal and compliance sector dropped 12 percent annually as a result of market stabilisation and low attrition rate in the industry.

Robert Walters' Asia Job Index tracks job advertising volumes for professional positions across the leading job boards and national newspapers in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

 Infographic (below) - Asia Job Index 2015 Q2

Infographic - Asia Job Index Q22015


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