Foreign and local banks focus on recruiting Malaysian talent


Foreign and Malaysian banks are now looking to recruit local accountancy & finance professionals, creating strong demand for Malaysian talent, says recruiting experts Hays in Malaysia.


According to Hays, locally based accountancy & finance professionals with multinational experience are in particular demand due to the Malaysian Government’s focus on promoting local talent.


“Traditionally senior roles in financial shared service centres went to people within global businesses from overseas,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia & Singapore.


“However, companies are now looking to recruit these professionals locally as shared service centre operations continue to grow throughout Malaysia. But people at a senior level within shared service centres often move back into core finance, creating a skills shortage in this area.


“We are also seeing a shortage of CFOs within the local market as CFO positions within multinational companies were previously occupied by expatriates.”


According to Chris, Malaysian businesses are becoming more commercially orientated and are looking for local talent to improve productivity. “Malaysia’s typical Finance Manager is transactional and finance focused, and lacks general business experience and commercial exposure. As a result, Commercial Finance Managers are in high demand to fill the skills gap.


“Also, locally based Financial Controllers with multinational experience are in demand, especially from FMCG and light manufacturing organisations. Currently a supply shortage exists as companies typically have a solid retention plan in place to keep candidates at this level, and offer a strong package to create a sense of loyalty.”


According to Hays, demand for local accountancy and finance talent also exists in the banking sector.


“In banking we are seeing demand for candidates with expertise in specific asset classes such as derivatives, private equity, foreign exchange and fixed income, mostly in the middle and back offices.


“Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Client efforts in banks have reached Malaysian shores due to global concerns about these issues. The tightening of regulatory requirements (and regulatory fines) has seen financial services employers recruit experienced AML Compliance professionals.


“And both banks and insurance companies are adding headcount to finance technology departments to support system implementation and migration. Demand is especially high for Project Managers and Business Analysts.”


For more insight on the areas of staffing demand, please see our Hays Quarterly Report.


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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