By Diane Crombie, Associate Director, Randstad Malaysia

It has been a very busy 2017 in the HR division at Randstad. We have seen a number of trends this year that are very different from those in 2016 - testament to the fast paced landscape of Malaysia’s complex organisational structures. Consulting the many different types of businesses we work with have revealed some of the HR challenges that are being faced. All too often we are asked “what is happening in the HR world in Malaysia right now?” to which I always answer “Talent”. Whether it be acquisition, development, redeployment, management or leadership, people are always at the heart of HR. 

As Peter Drucker says, “work can be high achievement as in the phrase ‘an artist’s life works’. Or it can be sheer drudgery, backbreaking or utter boredom”.

The quote resonates strongly as we look back at the HR trends that have emerged in the first half of 2017 as organisations push to invoke a sense of purpose within the careers of their employees.

talent management

Today’s pace of change requires companies to be in a constant state of evolution. We have seen a vast rise in the skill requirements for Talent Managers. They need to be able to partner with the business to achieve strategic HR goals through purposeful people strategies that align with current and future demands. An influx of clients looking for Talent Managers to handle complex situations such as culture change or automation which require strategic people management to support business transformation.

talent acquisition

With the unemployment rate in Malaysia at 3.4%, one of the single biggest challenges our clients face is the lack of talent. Talented individuals are usually already in engaging roles, so internal teams need to be consistently networking with the people they want to join their business in the future - typically before they know they want to leave their current role. There are currently less than 3 million people on LinkedIn in Malaysia, in a market of  30 million population, so nurturing personal networks is the key to ensuring businesses aren’t caught in a talent shortage. Not only this, the modern day recruiter needs to be technologically adept to be able to use the latest technologies to support sourcing candidates and developing their online brand.

employee engagement & culture

According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research, 31% of respondents in Malaysia said they would seek new employment if they didn’t feel appreciated by their managers. A further 30% said they would seek new employment if they weren’t with their company’s work atmosphere. Anticipating and delivering what your employees really want, developing a great culture and strong leaders can all be part of what keeps employees engaged and productivity high, however the real payoff is when businesses can link a sense of “purpose” and give meaning to their part in achieving the company's ambitions. 

So what is a “sense of purpose”? According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, it is described as giving your employees a sense of control - being an active participant, rather than a bystander. This in turn gives employers a greater level of loyalty and has demonstrated stronger long term growth. With Malaysia’s employee engagement figures the lowest in the Asian markets (59%), our clients are seeking strong HR practitioners that have experience engaging and retaining top employees in the war for talent.

where is HR going?

Digitalisation in Malaysia is part of the strategy for many senior managers, which will see HR continue to play a contributing role at keeping the impact of change minimal so we will continue to see an influx of requirements in Organisational Development roles and Talent Management.

L&D is also experiencing a change of landscape as businesses evolve. The need to upskill internal talent especially leadership development whose roles are at the forefront of establishing collaborative and purposeful work environments. Skills such as succession planning, coaching vs managing and softer skills such as emotional intelligence, empathy and transparency are some of the requirements that are highly sought after. 

If finding exceptional talent to drive success is a key challenge for your business, register a vacancy with us and we will be happy to help.

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