Shortage of IT professionals, tech talent crunch, lack of skilled local IT talent - these are the words we keep hearing about the tech labour markets in the news and from our professional network.

Over the next 5 to 10 years, every country in the world has ambitious plans for technological infrastructure development. Having a robust and interconnected network helps attract more foreign direct investments and spur businesses to increase their productivity and business performance while using the same amount of resources.

Malaysia’s digital technology economy is projected to account for 22.6% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. To achieve that, up to 800,000 new jobs will be created in the technology industry, which consist of 5G, e-commerce, development centres and more. In the future, emerging technologies like green technology, quantum computing and metaverse will also be explored in Malaysia.

With such rich ambitions in mind, IT companies in Malaysia are all competing for faster speed-to-market. However, it’s no easy feat for companies to accurately measure and understand the digital skills and workforce size needed in these uncharted territories.

Randstad Malaysia invited Nic Ngoo, Senior Vice President of Engineering at MoneyLion and Shane Chiam, Chief Technology Officer at Signature Market to our first in-person event since the pandemic. In this exclusive event, these two tech leaders shared their perspectives on the latest tech talent trends and some of the industry's best practices with 50 other business IT leaders.

best tips to attract IT professionals to work for you
best tips to attract IT professionals to work for you

1. address the increasing employee expectations of tech talents 

Companies all over the world are paying top dollar to attract tech talent like software developers and software engineers. On average, companies in Malaysia are offering 20% to 30% pay raise to IT professionals. For start-ups and small to medium enterprises, offering equity to top IT talent is not uncommon. 

Many employers are unaware tha, IT professionals are seeking other things beyond salary and benefits in their career. Country Director at Randstad Malaysia Fahad Naeem revealed that the top employee value proposition (EVP) factor that IT professionals look for in an ideal employer is ‘work-life balance’. 

The increasing business demands and pressures have taken a toll on IT professionals in Malaysia. Many of them are working overtime hours to deliver projects on fast-tracked timelines. Furthermore, many tech workers are independent contributors, which may be difficult for them to delegate their workload to other people when they want to take a break from work. 

The pressure is so high that 37% of IT professionals said that they plan to switch jobs in 2022. Ngoo from MoneyLion said that there is a strong motivation for IT professionals to switch because of the high talent demand in Malaysia. In fact, candidates equipped with niche and in-demand skills may have multiple job offers on hand at the same time. 

tech workers switching jobs statistics
tech workers switching jobs statistics

However, the fight is never about who is able to hoard the most talent. Rather, the competition for talent is based solely on skills.

According to Naeem, the most in-demand IT skills in Malaysia are:

  • devOps
  • solutions
  • infrastructure
  • UI/UX
  • application development

2. streamline your recruiting process

Hiring is probably the easiest yet most difficult part of the process. Many employers oversimplify the recruitment processes by providing recruiters with a short brief of the type of talent and skills they are looking for.

Instead of taking that approach to talent recruitment, employers should provide a full brief that includes the employer brand, the company's and the role's growth potential, as well as the projects that the individual would be working on.

The Randstad Malaysia Tech Talent Expectations Survey found that 50% of IT professionals dropped out of job interviews because the actual job requirements differed significantly from the job advertisements. While, 33% said that they didn’t continue with the interview because the hiring manager had a poor understanding of the job role.

Ngoo pointed out aptly, that companies must first determine the role of the talent and how this individual would contribute to the growth of the company.

The reality is that job descriptions can only be prepared accurately when there is a full and detailed brief from the employer. When the IT recruiter fully understands the job responsibilities and performance expectations, they would be able to shortlist a more suitable candidate pool for the company and manage the hiring process more effectively.

3. use your company culture to your advantage

In his presentation, Naeem said that the top obstacle to candidates in the job application process is not knowing what it is like to work at an organisation.

People tend to put their best foot forward whenever they meet someone new, and this concept applies to companies too as employers may oversell their company culture in order to attract top talent.

However, attracting talent will always be more difficult for start-ups and SMEs.  Not only are there fewer testimonials because of the workforce size, but it is also difficult for people to conduct research on a small company that does not have a large presence online.

This is why Signature Market uses social media as their main engagement channel for talent attraction. The company highlights its Shopee sales rankings on Facebook and LinkedIn so that its employees and potential candidates can learn more about the company’s ambitions and achievements.

The company also practiced employee engagement strategies by regularly hosting colour-themed outfit days to demonstrate their sense of community and employee camaraderie on social media. Most recently, they invited Laniege, a popular K-beauty brand to celebrate their 8th anniversary in Malaysia.

This strategy proved to be successful, as Signature Market has improved their employees job satisfaction and engagement which multiplied their workforce size over the years.

4. flexible work still the hot topic among IT professionals

According to Randstad Malaysia’s research, flexible work arrangements are the top initiatives that IT workers want their employers to provide for a better work-life balance. Only 1% of IT professionals expect to work fully on-site in the future. 1 in 5 expects work to be done fully remotely.

IT workers expectations for remote working
IT workers expectations for remote working

Despite several debates and discussions over the past two years, many employees still think that their employers are not providing enough work flexibility. That said, companies may have valid reasons to bring their employees back to the office. 

Although most IT professionals may be independent contributors, it is equally important to integrate them into the company culture. Employers have found to be much easier to achieve through off-sites team bonding activities and company gatherings, rather than interacting with thumbnails on virtual meetings.

However, the days of working full time in a physical office environment may be coming to an end. Companies that don’t offer flexible work options after the pandemic will face an uphill battle in attracting talent, especially in this new normal where hybrid work model and flexible work arrangement are already considered a hygiene factor for many employees. 

5. job interviews are a two-way street

Job applicants are looking for a great employer just as much as employers are looking for an exceptional candidate.

Ngoo from MoneyLion said that being able to deliver a memorable and positive candidate experience is key to discovering the right talent within your candidate network. He recommends bringing them into the office for a tour of their work environment and to meet the team members with whom they will be working to manage their expectations.

Instead of asking job applicants about their capabilities and experience during the interview, hiring managers should share more about  the opportunities to work on special projects and expound on their employee benefits to “hook them”. 

Most importantly, it is the courtesy to follow-up with the candidate throughout the interview process regardless of the outcome. Too many job applicants are left hanging after job interviews, which undoubtedly result in a poor candidate experience. Candidates may be unsure if they should move on to search for another job or continue waiting for the hiring manager to get back to them on the outcome. 

Employers must therefore take the time to connect with all the IT professionals they have interviewed to share useful feedback on why they have not been selected for the job, how they can improve their interview performance, and even insights on the best job and culture fit for them.

get your copy of the event assets from our IT networking event

Check out our events and partnership page for event assets that will include presentation slides and photos from our Randstad Malaysia IT networking event. 

Following the pandemic, our recruiters at Randstad Malaysia look forward to hosting more client networking events to connect experts together and share best recruitment practices.

let randstad take care of your recruitment for you

Randstad Malaysia prides itself on having the largest and most specialised IT recruitment team in Malaysia. We can help you whether you're an employer looking to expand your team or an IT professional looking for a new job.

Randstad Malaysia's professional permanent and contracting recruitment teams partner with Malaysia leading IT companies in technology, digital communications, fintech, medtech, shared services and call centres and many more. Our specialised recruiters can help you find the best IT talent Malaysia has to offer, with divisions ranging from development and applications to enterprise and solutions, sales and project management.

If you’re an employer, looking to attract top tech talent to fill a skills gap or replace a headcount, connect with us to share your recruitment requirements. If you’re a job seeker, looking for better career development opportunities in the IT industry in Malaysia, visit our job listing page and apply for IT jobs.

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