Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting emerging markets. With more than 30 million people, it is also one of the most diverse countries with great talent. As the country operates at full employment, companies need to find new ways to stay competitive - through digital transformation, business restructuring activities or both. However, to succeed at that, you will need the best talent and that starts with helping your employees and job seekers achieve their career aspirations.

The Randstad Employer Brand Research is the most comprehensive and independent research about employer branding in the world. It uncovers unique insights into the world of work and explores career motivation drivers of both employees and job seekers across major industries in Malaysia.

This year’s employer brand research indicated that Malaysians have high expectation of their employers to offer attractive salary and benefits, instead of initiatives to support a good work-life balance. The gap between both attributes is 19 per cent wide - the largest reported across six markets in Asia Pacific. 

While people may celebrate getting a higher salary from companies that are offering more to attract talent, it can be a costly mistake for the company. Only a future-proof company can provide employees with salaries and benefits that are consistently above the market average. Unfortunately, this does not exist in the real world and in my opinion, not a sustainable business strategy. 

Every company has to account for business risks as well as unanticipated global economy and socio-political challenges. In the event of poor financial performance, the organisation will most likely have to impose a hiring freeze or put a cap on salaries. When that happens, companies that rely on financial compensation to attract and retain people can only expect a high turnover rate as employees leave to look for the next best offer. What’s next for the company then? 

know what are your employees’ needs and wants. 

The key to ensuring a sustainable workforce is to place your employee in the centre of your talent attraction and retention strategies. People want to work for an organisation that cares. Take every opportunity you have to understand their challenges, needs and desires. Find out how you can help them be more productive at work, remove any unnecessary hurdles and set them up for success. 

As an employer, it is your responsibility to groom your talent. Make sure that each of them has a unique career development path based on their skills and experience. This means, guiding them in the right direction and have transparent discussions with them about their work performance and how it may impact their salary and promotion opportunities.

When communicated right, your staff will learn to value the work and resources you’ve put into them and trust you to guide them through their career development within the company. They will become more committed to the job, be healthier and more productive at work and more likely to be a strong advocate of your employer brand.

what is your employer brand? 

Take a look around your office. Are your coworkers frowning and rubbing their temples? Do you know if they are working on a project that they are proud of? Do your employees constantly share their successes with you? Are they constantly asking for a higher pay and using your competitors as a benchmark?

All of these emotions and experiences an employee has with the company can impact your overall employer brand. In today’s highly viral world of social media, it only takes one negative experience or review to damage your corporate reputation and change the public’s perception of the company. Therefore, it is important to not only build a strong employer brand that is unique to you but also protect it from any damage.

It can be daunting for companies when they are unsure of exactly how much time and money they’d need to invest in developing and maintaining their employer brand. However, the payoff is priceless if you can commit yourself to build a forward-looking and sustainable employer brand. Find out from your people what makes you special and attractive as an employer and when their personal values are aligned with the organisation’s, you have yourself a unique employer brand.

Since we established the research in Malaysia back in 2016, we have helped some of Malaysia’s renowned brands build their employer brand. We worked closely with HR teams and provided them with recruitment trend analysis and invaluable insights that help them identify areas they need to work on or strengthen. This year, we saw some of these companies climbed up the ranks to claim the title as one of Malaysia’s Most Attractive Employers. It was undoubtedly a proud moment for all of us - and we are honoured to be part of their journey to excellence. We will continue to cheer them on and others as well.

This is the third year that Randstad Malaysia has studied the career motivation drivers of more than 3,000 employees and job seekers. Connect with us for a year-on-year recruitment trend analysis and gain insights into what people are looking for, and what drives them to leave or stay with their employers.

Our 2018 Randstad Employer Brand Research will provide comprehensive insights on these key drivers and uncover Malaysian employees’ expectations and motivations. For a free copy of this report, please reach out to us at

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