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“Attractive salary and benefits” is the most important employee value proposition (EVP) Malaysian respondents look for in an ideal employer, increasing by 2% year-on-year to 74% in 2022. “Good work-life balance” ranked a close second at 70%, increasing by 1% from the year before.

Randstad, the global HR solutions leader, today announced the survey results of the 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research Survey in Malaysia. The online survey was conducted in January 2022 with more than 2,500 respondents in Malaysia.

what malaysian workers look for in employers
what malaysian workers look for in employers

malaysia’s job seekers have high expectations on salary

Even though the COVID-19 outbreak has made a significant impact on the economy, the labour market is making a speedy recovery. Companies are hiring new talent to quickly ramp up their operations and growth projects. The intense demand for skilled talent across industries has presented job seekers with the opportunity to negotiate for higher salaries and better benefits, so that they can improve their work-life balance and have a higher standard of living in Malaysia.

It’s critical for business leaders and HR leaders to create new strategies and policies to keep up with the evolving talent expectations. Many Malaysians are concerned about the rising inflation and cost of living. If their salaries don’t match their needs, employees will likely look for a job with another company that offers more attractive salaries and are able to meet their expectations to sustain their quality of life.

malaysians want flexible work arrangements to maintain a good work-life balance

Work-life balance has also become more important to Malaysian workers, with 70% of respondents ranking it the second most important EVP they seek in an ideal employer.

9 in 10 respondents in Malaysia took matters into their own hands to improve their work-life balance. 44% of respondents said that they worked flexible time slots and 33% said that they worked at home or remotely more frequently. About 1 in 4 respondents (23%) said that they worked less overtime hours so that they can have better work-life balance.

Many Malaysians had the opportunity to reassess how work fits into their life and their career purpose these last couple of years. When working flexibly, employees don’t need to worry about commuting during peak hours, which saves a lot of time for workers who have to travel into the city. Hybrid work doesn’t just alleviate stress levels and job burnout, it can also reduce absenteeism at work as employees are less likely to call in sick to avoid being late for work or dealing with heavy traffic.

lesser malaysian workers working remotely
lesser malaysian workers working remotely

However, the number of remote workers has dropped by a staggering 18% year-on-year to 51% in 2022. At the same time, 54% of respondents said that they want their employers to offer “flexible work arrangements” to help improve their work-life balance.

Malaysians are prioritising work flexibility more than ever. They want to be able to choose where and when they work so that they can schedule personal activities around their working hours. This is especially helpful for working parents, who need to travel during peak hours to send their kids to and from school. If their employer doesn’t offer the work flexibility they desire, it is very likely for them to search for a job opportunity or company that offers hybrid or flexible work arrangement.

Remote workers can also be equally or more productive. By offering flexible work arrangements, employees will feel motivated and companies could experience a boost in employee performance.

what malaysian workers want to improve work life balance
what malaysian workers want to improve work life balance

Employers can also consider supporting their workforce by meeting the expectations respondents have for better work-life balance.

1. healthcare benefits and wellness resources

Employees want greater support from employers in terms of healthcare and mental health benefits so they can better cope with their changing work-life expectations. The pandemic has spotlighted the importance of good health. However, the rising cost of healthcare is a big barrier for many Malaysians who want to seek professional help in time for better patient outcomes. Companies should review their corporate insurance to ensure that it is robust enough to attract and retain talent.

2. fair compensation beyond salary

Companies that want to attract talent should pay their employees fairly in exchange for their skills, experience and work contributions. If the employee has exceeded expectations, they’ll also be expecting bonuses for project completion and for helping drive more business revenue.

85% of respondents said that it’s important for their employers to offer them upskilling opportunities

A whopping 85% of Malaysian workers said that their employer should offer them opportunities to upskill for professional and personal growth. However, only 59% said that their employers offer them enough career development opportunities.

One of the challenges both employers and talent face in Malaysia is the widening skills gap. However, if employers hesitate to invest in training and development for their employees, the workforce will never be able to catch up with what is expected of them in the future. Employers who support their workforce’s desire to upskill are not only helping them feel more fulfilled in their present careers, but they’re retaining talent with actively evolving skill sets for a future-proof workforce.

Three quarters of respondents said they are more likely to stay with their employer if they receive reskilling and upskilling opportunities. In line with wanting adequate learning and development opportunities, 57% of respondents said that “good training” is an important EVP factor they look for in ideal employers. Organisations should always offer good upskilling opportunities so that the workforce is more capable and everyone has more opportunities to make progress in their careers.

In a competitive job market, personal career growth is a big priority for Malaysian workers as they continuously seek professional development opportunities. As technological advancements evolve beyond existing human skills, employees are feeling increased pressure to upgrade their skills in order to stay relevant in their industries and maintain their job security.

2022 randstad malaysia employer brand research report is now available. download your free copy!

The 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research provides employers with a unique opportunity to uncover new insights and validate their assumptions of employees and job seekers. This independent research is the most representative employer brand study in the world, reaching out to more than 160,000 respondents across 31 markets, including 2,524 who are based in Malaysia in January 2022.

fill in the form below to download the complimentary digital report.

Randstad continues to offer hybrid work to all corporate employees in Malaysia moving forward as well as work-from-home allowances to help ease utility expenditures or to set up a comfortable workstation at home. During COVID-19, all corporate employees in Malaysia received at least two days of vaccination leave to stay home and monitor their health.

Learn more about our employee benefits and staff rewards at Randstad Malaysia or apply to join our team and find out more about our inclusive workplace, as well as our company culture. Alternatively, you can view all our latest jobs for more career opportunities. Explore our Employer Brand Research for more key insights on boosting your employer brand and employee retention strategies. 

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