Adapt talent strategies to mitigate widening salary expectation gap

83% of working professionals in Malaysia are expecting a salary increase in 2022. Based on the findings in the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide, more people are expecting higher increments, with 19% expecting a salary increase of 6-9%, while 24% expect an increase of 10% and above.

Comparatively, while more employers in Malaysia reported the likelihood of increasing salaries this year, the increments are smaller than what employees are expecting. Only 10% of employers anticipate increasing salaries by 6-9%, 5% planning to increase salaries by 10% or more.

“After suppressing their demands for pay raises and bonuses last year, it is unsurprising that Malaysians are expecting higher compensation in 2022,” says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.

“However, many organisations are still operating on tight budgets as they focus on navigating their way out of the crisis and returning to growth. It is imperative that organisations manage this expectation gap with care.”

This is especially important given that employers are keen to hire more aggressively in 2022. 50% of employers in Malaysia expect to increase their permanent headcount this year, compared to just 27% in 2021. Within organisations, the top three functions where hiring is prioritised are Technology, Accountancy & Finance, and Engineering/Manufacturing.

Yet, 38% reported a lack of confidence to hire the skilled talent they need. Consequently, talent retention strategies are of utmost importance in 2022 given the stronger hiring appetite of Malaysian employers.

When developing or adjusting talent strategies, consider what else could serve as motivation for new or current staff, Tom advises.

“Salary aside, those who are on the lookout for new opportunities are in search of new challenges, career progression, and better healthcare and allowance benefits. Those who choose to remain with their current employer are doing so for the work-life balance, career progression, and flexible working options."

“Compensation in the form of revised bonus structures, better benefits, promotional opportunities, or even greater flexibility at work could go a long way in bridging the salary expectation gap and boost talent retention.”


For more 2022 trends and insights, download the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide here


About Hays Malaysia

Agensi Pekerjaan Hays (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd ("Hays Malaysia") is one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Malaysia in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions. We provide mid to senior level recruitment services across both finance and commerce industries. We have become known as the experts in sourcing regional and global candidates, as well as returning Malaysians.

Hays has been in Malaysia since 2012 and boasts a track record of success and growth, with two operating offices located in KLCC and Sunway. At Hays in Malaysia, we operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Engineering, Human Resources, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Marketing & Digital, Procurement, Supply Chain, Sales and Technology.


About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2020 the Group employed c.10,000 staff operating from 257 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2020:

  • the Group reported net fees of £996.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £135.0 million;

  • the Group placed around 66,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 235,000 people into temporary roles;

  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);

  • the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;

  • IT is the Group’s largest specialism, with 25% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (15%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest;

  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA