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Where will the jobs be in 2016?


SSC heads, business development managers and web application developers are just three areas of staffing demand that recruiting expert Hays says will remain in high demand in Malaysia throughout 2016.

According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, for January to March 2016, skilled locals will be able to advance their career this year.

“This quarter will see the payment of annual bonuses, which is preceded by candidates looking out for good opportunities and followed by an influx of roles and recruitment activity as people search for their next role and challenge,” says Tom Osborne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia.

“In good news for candidates, there are several factors behind vacancy activity. One is that more multinational organisations are looking to take advantage of Malaysia’s geographical location in the region, multi-lingual capabilities and abundance of skilled workers to establish their regional operations here.

“Add the Economic Transformation Programme and the heavy investment in the construction industry, the detariffication of the motor and fire insurance industries, and a strong manufacturing and operations market powered by plant expansions, new plant set-ups and increased demand for products, and it certainly signals an active jobs market for those professionals with the skills in demand.”

According to the January to March Hays Quarterly Report these include:

Accountancy & Finance:
• With the increasing number of companies establishing SSCs in Malaysia, the most important person to start their operations is the SSC Head, and those with experience in this role are highly sought after.
• Following the GST implementation in Malaysia, good tax managers are needed to continue reporting taxes accurately for businesses. The high usage of foreign consultants is starting to decline, which is creating new opportunities for local tax managers to step into these roles.

Project managers with an architectural background are in demand as developers are leveraging these niche skills to provide in-house interior design fit-outs.
• Due to the development of Malaysia’s southern region, contract managers are also needed.

Sales & Marketing:
• Data analytics is a fairly new discipline in Malaysia and many companies are looking for experienced data analytics professionals to help them understand it. Data monetisation is very much the next big thing as companies look to scale up and find new revenue streams.

Business development managers who can bring in bigger businesses and clients once the tariff is lifted are in demand.
• Insurers are also looking for financial risk candidates and risk professionals with an actuarial background to work closely with the business and act in an advisory capacity.

Human Resources:
Compensation and benefits professionals are highly sought after in Malaysia. Most organisations view compensation and benefits as a critical component of their talent retention and attraction strategy.
Organisational development, career development and learning & development professionals are also sought.

Finance Technology:
SOC analysts and security assurance specialists are needed as data processing moves into the digital era.
• In the area of big data, demand exists for ETL developers and business intelligence analysts. Due to the large volumes of data processing, candidates are required to have knowledge of various technologies and tools.

Manufacturing & Operations:
Safety health & environment managers are increasingly sought after due to business expansion and the need to ensure safety of work facilities and plants.
• There is also an increase in demand for operations managers particularly in food manufacturing and medical devices due to new plants setting up and the need to replace retiring staff.

Office Professionals:
Personal assistants to partners and CEOs are in demand, especially in multinational corporations and global consulting firms.
Office managers is another crucial function in demand within MNCs with large office spaces, as well as for those organisations that are relocating or opening new offices in Malaysia.

Life Sciences:
Regulatory affairs professionals with a pharmacy background remain sought after. Each pharmaceutical company needs an experienced regulatory professional to help with the submission of documents and to regulate licensing.
Product managers and marketing managers are also in demand, especially those at the senior level with strong marketing experience.

Company secretary professionals are in high demand by listed organisations. Experienced candidates are required to ensure necessary information is submitted to boards of directors.
• With the opportunities presented by mergers and acquisitions in the market, a number of new positions such as Head of Legal are available.

Supply Chain:
• Sourcing specialists/managers are sought as companies look for cost savings.
• Within procurement, procurement managers/senior managers with a good blend of both operational and strategic experience are needed. This is in recognition of the impact a strong procurement strategy can have on the bottom line of the business.

Banking & Financial Services:
• Commercial and private banking are two targeted segments of growth for 2016, and therefore relationship managers with good networks within these segments are sought to drive sales and business development.
• Talks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ASEAN Banking Integration Framework are starting to create more demand for trade and cash professionals particularly in the functions of cross-border banking sales, product development and back-end operations.

Information Technology:
• To aid e-commerce businesses, which are growing rapidly, there is a spike in demand for web application developers, web developers and web designers. These front-end developers using updated technology such as CSS3, HTML5 JavaScript and in some cases even PHP are in high demand.
• Infrastructure businesses that have upgraded their data centres and networks have a need for network engineers, system engineers, security consultants and server infrastructure engineers. The demand is specifically for mid to senior level candidates skilled in Microsoft networking.

Oil & Gas:
• Companies involved in metering skid projects are recruiting project managers. Companies prefer to recruit local talent with the right technical competencies in project management and they must have executed complex projects in their career.
Operations managers at the mid-level who are able to juggle both the leadership and operational aspects of the role are sought by certain companies.

To see the full list of skills in demand and trends for your industry, please visit

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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For further information please contact Kerryn Celine, Senior Marketing Executive - South East Asia at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9844 or



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