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More top talent needed to support Malaysia's upwardly mobile vision

AvantiKumar | Sept. 13, 2012
Despite the scarcity of top talent in Malaysia, Kelly Services' Employment Outlook and Salary Guide 2012/2013 presents an optimistic outlook on the job market.

Jeannie Khoo the Marketing Director of Kelly Services Malaysia modified (cwm)

PHOTO - Jeannie Khoo, marketing director of Kelly Services Malaysia, presents some of the data.


Though more top level talent is needed to drive Malaysia's ambitions of moving up the value chain, workforce solutions provider Kelly Services Malaysia said its new annual Employment Outlook and Salary Guide 2012/2013 presents a positive outlook for the country's job market.

Speaking on 10 September 2012, Kelly Services Malaysia managing director, Melissa Norman, said: "As Malaysia transforms itself from an input-driven growth strategy to one increasingly driven by knowledge, the talent required to advance the economic transformation agenda must possess skills and qualities to match industry requirements."

"We have seen strong demand for skilled talent across all industries as talent mobility is also taking place within Malaysia with talents increasingly willing to switch jobs," said Norman. "We are also noticing that employers are willing to pay higher salaries for top talent who can hit the ground running and require little training. The demand of talent has become more apparent in growing areas of the economy, especially the banking & financial, IT, business services and engineering industries."

She said the Kelly Salary Guide showed that as Malaysia has become a key Islamic banking and financial hub of Asia, the need for specialised talent in this sector has intensified. "Strong emphasis is placed on the four core sectors in Islamic finance: Islamic banking, Takaful, Islamic capital market and Islamic money market."

Norman added that the guide pointed to an optimistic outlook as well as high demand for highly-skilled workforce both at the entry and experienced levels.

"The qualities sought are from the professional and technical skills, and areas which are acute would be engineering, life science, pharmaceutical, information technology, communications, content, infrastructure, and the retail sectors," she said.

  ICT as a value chain driver

"These ranges of core skills become critical as industries move up the value chain and undertake new activities as an increasing number of Malaysian companies penetrate the global markets, establishing themselves regionally as well as countering stiff competition from other countries providing higher value-added activities, such as research and development," she said.

The construction sector was projected to record a stronger growth with a projected rate of 6.6 percent compared with 3.5 percent in 2011, supported by the implementation of major infrastructure projects and the special stimulus package.

"This has resulted in strong demand for the engineering and technical positions, which registered improved hiring activities for contract workforce," said Norman. "Sales engineers, project managers, civil site supervisors, design engineers are in demand. Those with at least four to six years relevant experience will see three to five percent salary increase while senior talent with more than eight years' experience will see eight to 12 percent salary increase."

"These talents would be required to have the ability to manage projects independently and ensure timelines on project delivery to be met," she said. "The Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector will become the cornerstone for Malaysia's journey towards achieving a fully developed high-income economy by 2020 and is expected to contribute 10.2 percent to the nation's gross domestic product by 2015. Job positions in the ICT industry have demonstrated rapid growth. With increasing technological advancements, ICT professionals with five to eight years of relevant experience will see an eight to12 percent increment in salary."

The country's GDP (gross domestic product) growth for 2012 was projected to moderate between four and five percent after expanding to 5.1 percent last year, but the steady pace of growth will largely depend on external developments, added Norman. "Malaysia expects consumption, investment and the Government transformation plans to stimulate domestic demand, create thousands more jobs by 2020 in the various sectors and also contribute to economic expansion."

Compiled annually since 2005, the Kelly Salary Guide 2012/2013 aims to become a handy reference tool. It is an industry-focused guide that is indicative of actual transactions between employers and employees. The easy-to-read format outlines staffing opportunities, skills and specialisations in demand and human resource strategies. 

The Employment Outlook and Salary Guide 2012/2013 will be available on Kelly Malaysia's website: by the end of September.


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