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Local IT specialists needed for expansion of financial services in Malaysia


IT Security specialists, AML Compliance professionals and HR Business Partners are just some of the professionals in high demand as the Malaysian economy continues to grow strongly, says recruiting experts Hays.


In its latest Hays Quarterly Report for October to December 2014, the recruiter says that many financial services firms are setting up development, data and shared services centres in the country but there is a shortage of suitably skilled Malaysian candidates.


“Malaysia's impressive 6.3 per cent economic growth in the first half of 2014 was driven by higher exports, continued strength in domestic demand and activities in the private sector. Despite the demand for IT specialists in financial services, Malaysia often still lacks a strong candidate pool in these niche areas,” says Tom Osborne, Country Manager of Hays in Malaysia.


“Adding another layer of complexity are the policies that promote the hiring of Malaysians within financial institutions. Whilst it is important to support local talent, it can be challenging for employers to find suitable staff in software development. Meanwhile, there is also competition to retain locals as they receive better salary packages when working in Singapore, Australia and Europe.”


According to Hays, many other sectors in the economy are experiencing jobs growth and skills shortages exist across oil & gas, sales & marketing, supply chain and HR.


Employers are focused on securing local talent, particularly those with experience working abroad or within a multinational corporation,” says Tom.


So are employers hiring in your profession? A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Report for October to December 2014 follows:


Hays Accountancy & Finance

  • Internal Auditors – Strong demand exists for Internal Auditors across local, regional and international banks. As shared services centres are largely process driven, Internal Auditors are required to perform testing to ensure internal controls adhere to risk mitigation / risk management rules.
  • Financial Controllers There has been continual demand for senior level finance professionals who have international experience and regional exposure with genuine multinational companies. Demand for these professionals is strongest in the oil & gas, healthcare, technology and FMCG sectors.


Hays Banking

  • AML Compliance professionals – As Kuala Lumpur is a growing regional financial centre, Malaysia’s banks are exposed to transnational criminal activity. The Central Bank and Government is trying to curb this activity, which has created significantly increased demand for Anti-Money Laundering and Client Due Diligence compliance professionals.
  • Credit and Market Risk Analysts – For most banks it has been business as usual complying with the Basel II banking regulations. However, the next round of regulations (Basel 2.5 and Basel III) will require the banks to have Analysts with a mixture of skills in credit and market risk to ensure better risk controls are in place.


Hays Information Technology

  • Project Managers These professionals are in high demand in all IT businesses in response to the expansion of the global IT industry and the need to deliver service quality. They are required to direct and deliver projects successfully within their specified timeframe.
  • Business Analysts – Analysts with both technical and business acumen are in demand to translate business plans into technical requirements by liaising with clients, business users, production teams and vendors.


Hays Finance Technology

  • Project Managers There is strong demand for Project/Program Managers within financial institutions. However, most of these candidates lack the necessary leadership skills and strong technical background required for banking applications or banking/insurance operations. A good command of English and a strong analytical mindset are highly regarded by employers.
  • IT Security specialists – IT Security professionals continue to be highly sought after as companies look to ensure that data is protected within the cloud and virtualization technologies. Skills involved in the implementation and monitoring of IT policy are expected to be in great demand going forward.


Hays Human Resources  

  • HR Business Partners Strategic business partner skills are highly sought after in the Malaysian market. The role of Business Partner is traditionally viewed as very operational but high demand exists for professionals with vision who can balance human resource programs with business priorities.
  • Compensation and Benefits specialists Companies are looking for candidates with strong hands-on experience in compensation and benefits. Their experience will help an organisation creative remuneration strategies that attract talent.


Hays Oil & Gas

  • HSE Leaders – We are seeing higher demand for senior HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) personnel from operators in Malaysia. This is due to an increase in movement by senior HSE professionals looking for better salary packages and more responsibility.
  • Proposal Engineers/ Managers – As both new and established oil & gas companies are working hard to win new projects in Malaysia we are seeing greater demand for Proposal Engineers and Managers.


Hays Sales & Marketing

  • Sales Directors – As companies continue to expand into the Asian region the demand for Sales Directors has increased. These professionals are often the top sales people in the business and are needed to drive revenue and growth.
  • Digital Marketing Managers – Businesses are looking for experienced Digital Marketers to provide strategic direction on which online channels would best complement traditional marketing efforts.


Hays Supply Chain

  • Procurement professionals – Demand has increased for experienced procurement professionals, particularly those with regional or global exposure. This is due to the number of global companies that are choosing Malaysia as their regional or global hub for procurement. Employment opportunities in procurement are proving to be attractive to returning Malaysians.
  • Planning professionals (Supply/Demand/Production) – These professionals are sought by most FMCG related companies. Staffing demand has been relatively consistent throughout the year, with Demand Planners most highly sought after given the shortage of candidates in Malaysia. Hiring managers prefer to focus on candidates who come from similar industries.


For more, please see the full Hays Quarterly Report at  


Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.  Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.



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