Jobs in 2014 – are your skills in demand?

CFOs, IT Business Analysts, Sales Managers and Geologists are just four of the skills in demand as we welcome an active jobs market in 2014, says recruiting experts Hays in Malaysia.


According to the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand, there are clearly pockets of skills shortages, most notably in accountancy, sales, IT and oil & gas. 


“It’s still early days for 2014, but we have already noted an increase in candidate applications, which will ultimately lead to more movement in the jobs market,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia & Singapore.


“In addition to the traditional movement of candidates post-bonus, employers are beginning to implement their 2014 growth plans, which is creating many exciting opportunities for top professionals,” he says.


According to the recruiter, adding to demand is the trend to localise roles. “The policy of Malaysianisation will continue this year,” says Chris. “Yet a skills shortage exists across the board, particularly for more experienced candidates. Candidates with niche experience also continue to be in demand. 


“Further adding to demand is the regional expansion of local firms. For example, in the banking sector most firms are tapping into the growing Islamic banking markets in the Middle East.


“GST implementation and Basel requirements are also adding to candidate demand in the accountancy and finance jobs market.


“As a result, those people with high-level skills will be particularly sought after. Such candidates are already looking to change jobs to improve their prospects and career development,” he said.


A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots for January to March 2014 follows:


  • Financial Controllers - FMCG and light manufacturing organisations seek Financial Controllers. But 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.


  • Commercial Finance Managers – 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.


  • CFOs – Traditionally global businesses have not filled this job function with Malaysians. However given the trend to localise roles we are now seeing high demand for local CFOs from global businesses operating in Malaysia.


  • Islamic Product Development Managers - Malaysia is the biggest sukuk issuer globally and financial institutions are attempting to expand their array of Islamic products. As a result, most banks are looking for candidates who possess both conventional and Islamic exposure.


  • Talent Managers - Organisations are facing bench strength issues as they look at the skills and readiness of potential successors to move into leadership roles. As a result, they are recruiting talent management professionals.  


  • Compensation and Benefits Managers – Employers are recruiting C&B Managers in order to implement an effective compensation strategy.


  • IT Security - The demand for IT security experts is set to continue this year. Given increasing threats and new technologies, there will always be demand for security professionals with the most up-to-date training and knowledge.


  • IT Business AnalystsEmployers are looking for professionals with both technical and business acumen to translate business plans into technical requirements by liaising with clients, business users, the production team and vendors. Candidates need experience in performing UAT and SIT. Demand for BA’s is highest in the banking industry.


  • Exploration Geologists, Development Geologists, and Reservoir and Petroleum Engineers – A shortage of qualified talent exists in these areas and as such competition is fierce. Strong local candidates with eight or more years of experience are very much in demand.   


  • National Sales Managers – Malaysia is a hub for sales roles and businesses constantly need senior salespeople to lead the sales team across large areas of the business. Whether through natural attrition or company growth, there is a constant demand from different businesses for National Sales Managers. Sales Managers are also needed in various industries.


  • Digital Marketing Managers – Given the rapid growth of technology, companies are looking for skilled digital marketing professionals to promote their brand and products. This skill set will become increasingly important as we move forward and technology becomes even more integrated into our everyday lives.


For the full list of skills in demand, please view our Hays Quarterly Hotspots.



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



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