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 ever-changing global economy and technology’s rapid advancement continue to drive Malaysia’s proactive and innovative approach towards the digital economy. From consumer banking to logistics, every industry and consumer in Malaysia interact with technology every day.

information technology trends in malaysia
information technology trends in malaysia

Companies are constantly investing to improve their technology usability and security to provide a better experience for their customers, paving the way for new entrants and jobs across development and enterprise technologies.

2023 information technology market and job trends

1. 5G will drive talent hiring

The highly anticipated roll-out of 5G technology in Malaysia is expected to contribute significantly to the country's job market, as the the developments will further advance web evolutions and create an estimated 39,000 value-add jobs.

The implementation of 5G is likely to lead to an increase in demand for workers with skills related to the technology, such as network engineers, data analysts, and software developers. Additionally, the increased speed and reliability of 5G networks may lead to the creation of new industries and business models, which in turn will create new job opportunities. However, it could also lead to displacement of jobs in older industries.

Malaysia’s 5G implementation, led by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), will enable the growth of the nation’s digital economy. With major mobile carriers already on board, we anticipate a boost in talent and business demands to test out the full capabilities of the country’s 5G infrastructure.

2. data centre developments

Between 2022 and 2027,  multinational corporations (MNC) will invest more than US$2 billion to develop Malaysia-based data centres, to provide improved cloud computing services to the region as more businesses will rely on cloud solutions as they undergo further digital transformation.

Cyberjaya is at the heart of this development, with 14 of its data centre facilities contributing 75% of the existing capacity in Malaysia. In the coming years, data centre supply will see a three-fold increase from another 15 announced and under-construction projects with co-location operators.

3. course corrections within the technology space

Attributing to a poorer economic outlook and inflation, IT companies have announced hiring freezes and retrenchments at the end of 2022.

These changes can be viewed as a reflection of how business demands have changed over the course of the pandemic. Now, business leaders are developing new strategies and growth plans that would define them as a company as well as drive higher returns.

It is likely for hiring activities to moderate in the first half of 2023, as employers place a greater focus on workforce retention and attracting talent with niche skills.

in-demand development and enterprise tech jobs for 2023

Hiring trends are often cyclical and seasonal and shall pass. Based on what we have observed over the years, these hiring trends—layoffs and hiring freezes—are part of the cycle that tests a company’s resilience and adaptability.

The ongoing digitalisation and deployment of 5G, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things will create a growing demand for enterprise technology professionals to help organisations plan and execute digital transformation strategies. 

In 2023 and beyond, demand for tech talent with skills and experience in enterprise technology and development is expected to rise in Malaysia. As technology continues to rapidly advance, there will likely be a greater need for talent like software developers and data scientists to improve overall business operations, increase competitiveness and drive innovation.

To adapt to these new realities, employers must develop smart hiring strategies to ensure they have the best people, skills and expertise capable of driving change.

most in-demand tech jobs in 2023

  • software engineers
  • data engineers
  • data scientists
  • AI agents
  • cloud engineers
  • DevOps engineers
  • cybersecurity specialists
  • IoT consultants

2023 talent expectations

With fears of a recession in 2023, the uncertain economic outlook will pull job candidates into opposite extremes. Some will actively look for jobs, while others may take a more cautious approach when considering a career switch.

When making career decisions, IT professionals will be reviewing the full package - compensation package, training and development opportunities, job responsibilities and overall organisational culture.

what is tech talent looking for
what is tech talent looking for

1. promote total compensation and benefits package to attract talent

IT professionals with niche and specialised technical skills are expecting to receive a 20% to 30% salary increase when changing jobs in 2023. To stay competitive, companies with smaller hiring budgets should look beyond salary increment and consider  offering performance or project completion bonuses, as well as other financial incentives like transport allowances and food subsidies.

However, if there is one benefit that employees favour, it is workplace flexibility. Respondents in the Randstad’s Reimagine Work white paper said that work-life balance stems from having better control over their work and personal time. Without the commute, employees can exercise more flexibility in their lives while working from home. Having a flexible work arrangement helps them live a better-balanced lifestyle.

2. promote training and development opportunities

As technology evolves, continuous and regular upskilling will be crucial to the organisation's success.  

Many IT professionals and digital talent would prefer to receive customised and in-person training so that they can ask questions and establish new relationships. Many employees also value mentorship opportunities to deepen their soft skills, such as time and stakeholder management.

Organisations should also focus on creating a culture of learning and development, where employees are encouraged to attend workshops and courses to upskill. This will help them stay competitive in the job market and increase their value as an employee.

3. promote job responsibilities and organisational culture 

Many job seekers still have a strong preference to work for established and multinational companies, as they associate these organisations with stability. However, it is not always true as some of the world’s largest companies make mistakes sometimes.

To attract skilled talent, start-ups and SMEs should be transparent about their company culture. A highly-effective way is to invite the job applicant to meet with the rest of the employees during the final job interview. These interactions help them understand the team’s synergy and determine whether they fit in the environment.

Employers should focus on meeting the needs of their employees, including physical and mental well-being, work-life balance, and career progression to boost their retention strategy.

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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