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Malaysia’s top 10 talent trends for 2014



Working out which Big Data skills are actually needed and better understanding of social media as a channel are just two of the top talent trends that will shape Malaysia’s recruitment landscape in 2014, according to recruiting experts Hays. 


Malaysia’s economy remains strong and companies continue to grow, which is keeping the recruitment market active,” said Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia & Singapore.


“In the year ahead, vacancy activity is tipped to increase and employers will place precedence on candidates with experience gained in true MNCs.


“The contract market will continue to evolve, while we’ll see a general acceptance of the value of language skills and understanding people in their own language.


“A big area of growth in 2014 will be crossover roles – as the technology, marketing and finance worlds integrate it will be key to find people who can move across all sectors, with multilevel knowledge.


“Also the ability to harness the whole notion of social media will be important, to the point where it is not an add-on but is seamlessly incorporated into the main game,” said Chris.


Hays’ 10 talent trends for 2014:


1. Big Data dilemma: “Without doubt one of the most used (and feared?) terms in the past couple of years is ‘Big Data’,” said Chris. “There is no doubt that the desire to process huge amounts of data in near real-time will drive innovation for how data can be harnessed to inform business and marketing opportunities. Looking beyond the hype, most of the current opinion is that it is really about analytics and a renewed focus on that is what’s required. Therefore in 2014 we will see increased demand for IT Project Managers and Business Analysts who are involved in data manipulation projects. ‘Data Scientists’ will also be in increasing demand; the Harvard Business Review named the role ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ since these professionals can recognise patterns in data from multiple sources and then make observations and predictions, which is crucial to business success.”


2. Mobile App Development: “The increased usage of tablet-based applications and the associated user experience is driving demand for strong JavaScript Developers, particularly those with HTML5 and CSS3 skills for web development. Yet so few candidates combine both elements and are therefore able to build complete systems. Given insatiable customer demand for apps and an improved user experience, this skills shortage will become a more pressing concern in 2014. It could even cause general delays and interruptions in the evolution of the mobile app market at a time when it is raring to go.”


3. Technology’s integration: “In 2014 technology will no longer sit in the domain of the CTO or CIO, but will instead integrate with both marketing and finance,” says Chris. “This integration of both technology with marketing, and technology with finance, will see staff in these departments become jointly responsible for outcomes. It will create a need for people with multilevel hybrid knowledge. For example, in the digital marketing space professionals need to engage technology to inform their decisions. Meanwhile marketing analytics professionals use modelling and analytics practices to improve their marketing outcomes. Business analysis is another example where professionals have a functional background and in-depth knowledge of their industry and company, but also need to translate requirements in technical areas. As a result, marketing and finance professionals will need to enhance their technology skills to remain competitive in the jobs market.” 


4. Skills shortage catch-22: “Expect high-level skilled professionals to be in short supply in 2014.  Unemployment is very low and employers continue to struggle to attract highly skilled and experienced professionals.”


5. MNC experience valued: “Employers in Malaysia will look for candidates with experience gained in true MNCs. They prefer such candidates over those with solely Malaysian business experience as they believe they possess far better communication skills, are more commercially minded and can create a stronger success-based environment.


6. Evolution of contract jobs: “The contract market in Malaysia will continue to grow in response to the recognition of the value of this method of engagement.”


7. Resourcing digital and social strategies: “As confidence returns to the jobs market, the candidate is again ‘king’ however most organisations are yet to fully embrace digital and social media effectively when it comes to recruitment. The expectation is that a presence and activity on social media such as posting a job is enough, but the commitment and resources that are really needed to build effective relationships is vastly underestimated by most. Without that commitment it is very difficult to attract and engage with the right talent at the right time.”


8. Staff retention: “Employers are often blind to the cause of staff turnover and in 80 per cent of cases an employee chooses to leave due to the job itself, pay and conditions or work relationships – all issues employers can do something about. As employees become more confident and start to explore their options in the jobs market, employers will really need to turn their focus back to retention.”


9. Aptitude for learning: The world is changing rapidly and it will be smarter to recruit candidates who can - and want to - learn new skills, rather than candidates who may only be fit for today. Globalisation, the shift towards a knowledge economy and the sheer pace of technological change are creating a need for employees who can learn and respond to both their employer’s and the market’s changing demands. With this in mind, candidates should not only meet the required technical and soft skills for a role, but also possess an aptitude and desire for learning.”


10. Borderless: “In our global economy the world is becoming borderless and in order to achieve career development people are willing to change countries more readily. With this in mind speaking another language is a hugely important business skill, and it will only become more so in future. For those looking to move up, these skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equally indispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead. The insight to understand people on their own terms and in their own language will be increasingly valued in the years ahead.”


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


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