In Malaysia, 44% of respondents have seen their skills become more relevant during the pandemic. By extension of their improving skills relevancy and capabilities, 51% of respondents got promoted during the pandemic. However, 14% of all respondents got promoted but did not receive a pay raise. 


Randstad - the world’s leading human resources solutions agency - today released the results of their H2 2021 Workmonitor survey in Malaysia. The bi-annual survey highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local labour market.

skills relevancy during the pandemic
skills relevancy during the pandemic

Consequently, 23% of respondents have seen their ability to earn an income improve. However, 21% of respondents have reported a decline in their ability to earn an income.

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, employees are faced with new work challenges that could impact their employability. As companies invest to digitise their processes to reduce operational costs and make hybrid work possible, many employees have to upskill and learn how to use new software to continue working at home. The benefits of embracing new technologies have helped employees become more digital-savvy and productive at work, which has further encouraged more companies to invest in more digital technologies to speed up their processes and grow their revenue.

job promotion statistics in malaysia
job promotion statistics in malaysia

malaysia faces a widening skills gap

Despite the rising employment rate, Malaysia remains a candidate-short market. Many industries are facing hiring challenges due to the mismatch between the digital growth ambitions of companies and the shortage of qualified talent to fulfil those goals. Even as the workforce has become increasingly well-educated and more people are re-entering the job search market, candidates simply lack the specific expertise to bridge the skills gap in Malaysia.

The pandemic has also further worsened the issue of under-employment. Despite an increasingly well-educated workforce in recent years, there remains an undersupply of high-skilled jobs which causes people to settle in jobs that they are overqualified for. As the country pushes forward to become a highly-connected and digital-first nation, there is a critical need to upskill the entire workforce so that more people are qualified for the high-value jobs that companies are offering now. 

malaysian respondents recognise the need to upskill and want employers to help facilitate their career growth and development.

There is general awareness within workers that there is a need to upskill. 89% of respondents said that the changes in the job market that have occurred or are anticipated to come have made them realise that they need more training and development to stay relevant. 

In an effort to position the country as an attractive business destination, the Malaysian government plans to attract more foreign direct investments and drive more cohesive private-public collaborations in the economic ecosystem. While these efforts will create more jobs for the local workforce, upskilling and re-skilling of employees and undergraduates need to keep up with the business demands to be able to continue attracting new investments.

More than 9 in 10 Malaysian respondents want their employers or the government to provide skills assessment tests so that they know what skills to obtain to stay employable.

how do employers assess skills
how do employers assess skills

Even with an earnest willingness to upskill, many employees are overwhelmed by deadlines and the sheer amount of work on a regular day. Therefore, employers need to develop an actionable long-term workforce upskilling strategy that aims to let employees know the specific skills that they need to acquire to advance their careers and  provide them with resources to help meet their professional goals. Learning and development teams can also develop and conduct training programmes and quiz their employees’ knowledge using online platforms. This would help their employees become more familiar with the digital learning environment and give them more autonomy to learn at their own time. 

the great resignation: 39% of respondents changed jobs in the past 6 months

The survey data indicated that “The Great Resignation” wave could be sweeping throughout Malaysia.  38.6% of respondents reported that they have switched employers in the last 6 months, a 8.3% increase from the previous 6 months.

why malaysians switch jobs
why malaysians switch jobs

As for the factors driving their career choices, 51% of respondents value career growth opportunities, 37% value opportunities to gain more long-term marketable skills and 30% value working for a fast-growing company. 

73% of respondents would consider a job offered by a company outside of Malaysia if they can perform the job locally. This is the highest in the region, with Singapore, Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR trailing at 69%, 60% and 65% respectively. 

about randstad workmonitor

As the world's leading HR solutions and recruitment leader, Randstad conducts the Workmonitor survey to explore the changes in candidates’ expectations and challenges twice a year to help employers manage their talent attraction and employee engagement strategies.

Besides Workmonitor surveys, our recruitment consultants at Randstad Malaysia regularly prepare market maps and surveys to keep ourselves up-to-date with the latest talent movements and workforce trends.

Digital literacy is a very important skill that many employers like you look for in job seekers. Offering employees the option to work remotely can help attract more digital-savvy talent who shares your values to join your organisation. Hybrid work, when done right, can develop a more productive, happier and healthier workforce.

Connect with us for specialised talent recruitment services or to strengthen your employer brand. 

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