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Oil & Gas skills shortages a challenge for employers as headcount rises in Malaysia

Almost four in five oil and gas employers (79 per cent) in Malaysia plan to increase their headcount this year, reveals the Hays Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide.


The Guide, which is based on data from 24,000 respondents, also shows that skills shortages are a significant challenge for 42 per cent of oil and gas employers in Malaysia. Thus hiring plans will exacerbate the already skills-short market and add pressure to increase salaries to attract candidates.


In other key findings, 89 per cent of employers predict an upturn in salaries in the coming year as hiring managers vie for top talent, at the same time as further emphasis is put on benefits. The number of employees receiving benefits grew over the last 12 months as employers look to bolster compensation packages with incentivised bonuses or attractive pension plans.


According to the findings, 46 per cent of employees are offered bonuses, 34 per cent have a health plan and 23 per cent have a car or transport allowance included in their salary package. Overall bonuses account for 15.9 per cent of the total package and are seen as a valuable tool for employers to attract and retain staff without increasing base salaries.


The Guide, produced by recruiting experts Hays Oil & Gas in conjunction with leading jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, shows salaries in Malaysia increased by 1.5 per cent for local labour but fell by 11.4 per cent for expatriates.  Looking ahead, employers’ confidence in the market is high as 73 per cent of hiring managers have a positive or very positive outlook on the Oil and Gas industry.


Mike Wilkshire, Director of Hays Oil & Gas, comments: “The rise in local salaries and drop in expatriate salaries has been a continuing trend for some time now in Singapore but this is still very much a work in progress for other countries in the region.


“Last year we predicted slowing salary growth year-on-year, and globally this trend will be the same. But we expect Asia to buck this global trend and we will see above inflationary rises in salaries moving forwards.”


For comparison, the industry globally has seen a decline of 1 per cent in salary levels from 2013. The slight reduction in the growth of salaries can also be attributed to a market correction after a particularly buoyant two year period of increases within the industry. This is probably a necessary correction after two consecutive years of growth in salaries that have started to threaten the financial performance of some companies.


John Faraguna, Global Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas, comments: “Globally, salaries may have dropped slightly last year in line with the industry but what is important to note is that we are finding that confidence is steady to the industry and that demand for skilled workers continues to rise. However, one of the main issues threatening to upset confidence is the lack of skilled workers available to employers.


“More women and young people made up the respondents of the survey compared to last year, which is an indicator of the make-up of the industry, and a very positive sign. It’s important that employers tackle the skill shortages by training these younger workers and putting in place succession plans before the older workers exit the industry along with their years of experience.”


Download a free copy of the Guide at or



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