Randstad Malaysia’s 2023 talent and salary outlook report includes key labour trends and employer insights on salaries, bonuses, hiring trends and talent expectations. Download the full report for more information to guide your talent attraction and workforce planning strategy for 2023.

The continuations of domestic infrastructure developments as well as new project announcements, particularly in the railway industry, are poised to boost Malaysia’s economy.

However, the lack of manpower has slowed down the expected progress in the construction sector. According to Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), the construction industry in Malaysia currently faces a shortage of 550,000 workers.

This continued labour shortage stifles the construction sector’s recovery, leading to many firms investing heavily in advanced technologies to automate or replace some of the roles that are no longer in demand.

attracting younger talent in digital savvy construction industry
attracting younger talent in digital savvy construction industry

While it may seem like a chicken-and-egg situation of whether companies should invest in digital transformation or workforce development first, the short answer is that both should happen simultaneously.

Companies that have invested in new software and hardware have the opportunity to develop new and relevant training programmes for their workforce to upskill them. Employees also need to unlearn and relearn skills as they change their mindset to use tools that will help them become more productive, creative and innovative. This would enable them to feel more fulfilled and confident in their jobs, which results in satisfaction and loyalty.

Digital-savvy companies are often viewed as more innovative and forward-thinking. They are hence more likely to spark interest among the younger generations of workers, who often look for  opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies and be part of a future-forward and innovative organisation.

2023 market trends and industry outlook in the construction industry in malaysia

1. residential property development

In the first half of 2022, NAPIC recorded 34,092 overhang units worth RM21.73 billion, down by 7.5% and 4.6% in volume and value, respectively, compared to the period before.

However, the challenge of unsold units runs deeper than market pricing. Even though buyers in Malaysia are prepared to invest, they have a tighter budget attributed to rising costs and income loss during the pandemic. Buyers have hence been more cautious about their investment decisions, with many considering factors like accessibility and future property value.

2. commercial development - data centres

Between 2022 and 2027, MNCs will invest more than US$2 billion in developing data centres across the country.

Cyberjaya remains the nexus for data centre development, with 14 facilities supporting 75% of the existing capacity in Malaysia. Other hotspots for data centre development include Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Shah Alam and Penang.

3. commercial development - manufacturing plants

An attractive location for manufacturers, Malaysia is quickly becoming home to some of the biggest semiconductor plants and electric vehicle assembly plants in the world. Employers in the construction industry will actively seek highly skilled workers to meet the innovation requirements for these new and technologically advanced manufacturing plants.

4. demand for green buildings

Malaysia has committed to cutting its carbon intensity by 45%. Some of the key approaches to reduce the country’s carbon emissions include mainstreaming climate resilience into urban planning and infrastructure, optimising energy use and water consumption, as well as adding green spaces.

The demand for green buildings - that lower operational costs and reduce carbon emissions - has escalated in recent years, driven  by environmentally-conscious home buyers and companies. These green buildings are known to be environmentally sustainable and resource-efficient. In an effort to reverse climate change and meet growing expectations, we expect more firms to deepen their workforce and operations capabilities to meet the requirements to be certified by the Green Building Index (GBI).

market trends in construction sector
market trends in construction sector

4 most in-demand construction jobs in 2023

The construction industry in Malaysia is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by the government's infrastructure development plans and private sector investments. There will be strong domestic demand for engineers and talent to jumpstart and complete these projects. Some of the most in-demand positions that many companies are hiring for include:

  • electricians and electrical engineers
  • construction project managers
  • civil engineers
  • equipment operators

These job roles typically require a combination of technical skills and management skills, and some of them may also require specific certifications or licences.

While compensation and benefits have been relatively stagnant over the past few years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, things are starting to change. We now see companies open to paying 15% to 30% more to secure the right talent.

Get your copy of the report to find out more about the new salary benchmarks for in-demand jobs in Malaysia.

download the randstad malaysia’s 2023 talent and salary outlook report

The 2023 Job Market and Salary Trends report looks at workforce analysis and new salary benchmarks in the following industries:

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