Employers in Malaysia optimistic about 2022 despite continued Covid challenges

Most employers in Malaysia expect business activity levels to increase in the next twelve months, based on findings in the 2022 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

Now in its 15th edition, the 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. 

74% of employers in Malaysia believe business activity will increase in 2022, which is the highest in the region. Fewer hiring freezes were also reported for 2022, with 75% of employers saying none has been planned. Last year, nearly half of employers reported a hiring freeze at their organisations.

“The pandemic has severely impacted business activity across various sectors over the last two years. Fortunately, the Malaysian economy is now on the road to recovery, and despite ongoing challenges, we see a growing optimism among employers,’ says Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia.

Accordingly, half of the employers surveyed plan to increase their permanent headcount in the next twelve months and are putting in place candidate attraction tactics like increasing compensation. Along with China, employers in Malaysia are planning for larger salary increments on average, between 3-6%. Average increments for all other regions are expected to peak at to 3%.

Tom says, “While jobseekers are prioritising compensation after two years of suppressed wages, employers should be aware of the fact that there are other factors that will come into play. Seeking new challenges, better healthcare insurance and allowance, as well as career progression were all top motivators for Malaysians looking to change jobs.”

For jobseekers, Tom emphasises the importance of skills development. “Employer responses tell us that they value technical, analytical, and management skills highly, alongside soft skills like communications skills, problem solving skills, and teamwork. Candidates who focus on developing such skills will certainly see an advantage in securing a role.”

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