Employers in Malaysia more confident about hiring skilled talent in 2022 despite ongoing restructuring

62% of employers in Malaysia said they were confident about hiring the skilled talent their organisation needs in 2022, according to findings from the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide. Yet, most organisations reported undergoing restructuring to adapt to changes in the world of work.

Now in its 15th edition, the Hays Asia Salary Guide compiles and presents salary and sector overviews based on real data and a survey of skilled professionals across China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Over 9,500 responses were collected between October to November 2021.

Top reasons employers gave for skill shortages at their organisations included ‘higher compensation offered elsewhere’, ‘lack of learning and development opportunities to upskill current employees’, and ‘skills needed are too niche and hard to source in the current market’. At the same time, 60% of employers who said their organisation is going through restructuring said it was due to changes in required skill sets while 58% attributed it to digital transformation.

“The growing confidence bodes well for the 50% of employers who said they intended to increase their permanent headcount next year. However, with Covid-19 transforming workplaces and accelerating digitalisation, the skills gap that organisations are already experiencing could become more apparent,” says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.

The top soft skills valued by employers in Malaysia were communication skills, problem solving skills, and teamwork. This was consistent across Asia. The top hard skills were analytical skills, technical skills, and management skills. Malaysia was the only country where a strong emphasis was placed on management skills.

Asked about what they were doing to improve their job prospects, 55% of professionals in Malaysia said they spent time on developing soft skills and 32% on developing hard skills. This was the highest number of respondents after China. 13% also said they were getting higher or additional qualifications. Most reported spending one to two hours per week on skills development.

Tom says, “It’s heartening to see that there is a strong sense of initiative among professionals in Malaysia to upskill. That said, candidates should prioritise skills that are valued by employers and which are relevant to the current market and world of work. Employers on the other hand should continue to invest in training and upskilling their staff. Not only does this maximise productivity, it would also help in boosting employee retention.”

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


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 2021 the Group employed c.12,100 staff operating from 254 offices across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2021:

  • the Group reported net fees of £918.1 million and operating profit of £95.1 million;
  • the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 220,000 people into temporary roles;
  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 27% in Germany, 22% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 61% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 39% of net fees; 
  • Technology is the Group’s largest specialism, with 26% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (14%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest