The labour marketplace in Malaysia has evolved from being a transactional one to an employer’s ability to meet individualistic talent motivations and aspirations.

malaysian workers want job promotion
malaysian workers want job promotion

While 1 in 2 Malaysians said that they would quit their job if it did not offer them enough career progression opportunities, 55% indicated they would remain in their current role if they are happy with it, even if there is no room to progress or develop. 

Adopting a "talent-first" approach addressing personalised employee goals helps businesses differentiate and succeed in the competitive world of work. To do that, employers will need to prioritise effective communication to understand specific needs like flexibility, career advancement, or training opportunities among the workforce. 

malaysians seek career fulfilment and job happiness 

In Malaysia, 73% consider themselves ambitious, 17% above the global average. Meanwhile, 12% of workers never want to take on any managerial roles. 

However, the research indicates that not wanting career progression does not mean employees have no interest in self-improvement, with 81% of respondents ranking training and development opportunities important when thinking about their current and future employers. 

The five most important factors when thinking about their current or future employment are: 

  • Work-life balance and salary (94%)
  • Health insurance and healthcare benefits (90%)
  • Working hours flexibility (89%) 
  • Job security (88%)
  • Mental health support (87%) 

While Malaysians are ambitious to seek higher salaries and more prestigious job titles, they balance it with finding employers who can offer a positive experience. Having the opportunity to upskill could sometimes be more fulfilling than doing the same job for a higher salary.

malaysians look to employers for upskilling solutions 

With the disruption of artificial intelligence (AI) in workplaces, the need to develop and deepen skills is influencing how Malaysians are looking for jobs. 47% of respondents said that they would not accept a job if it did not offer learning and development opportunities to future-proof their skills. 

malaysians want to upskill in AI
malaysians want to upskill in AI

More than 1 in 3 respondents said that they would quit their jobs if they were not offered any opportunities to future proof their skills. Notably, a significant 43% of Gen Zers would consider quitting a job that does not offer upskilling opportunities, while only 15% of Baby Boomers would take such action.

In Malaysia, 53% of respondents said that it is the employer’s responsibility to train and upskill. Local respondents are most interested in developing themselves in the following areas: 

  • IT and tech literacy (42%) 
  • Management and leadership skills (29%) 
  • AI (29%) 
  • Data science and analytics (23%) 
  • Communication and presentation skills (22%) 

The importance of learning opportunities to talent reinforces the desire for partnership between employees and employers. This is now an important factor for employees when choosing a job. Organisations looking to hire will need to share more about their learning and development efforts and outcomes with job seekers to attract the best talent with aligned values.

download the 2024 randstad malaysia workmonitor report 

Hear the voice of employees around the world on what they want and expect from their employers and how willing they are to ask for it. 

randstad malaysia 2024 workmonitor ambition
randstad malaysia 2024 workmonitor ambition

The 2024 Workmonitor research in Malaysia surveyed 517 locally-based employees and job seekers about their career expectations and experiences across four themes: motivation and ambition, flexibility, equity and understanding, and AI & skilling. Download the 2024 Workmonitor to keep up to speed with what’s shaping this new world of work and access unique insights into Malaysia’s talent pool.

gain insights about malaysia’s workforce to hire smarter

To succeed in this dynamic job market, it’s important for employers to gain a deeper understanding of what job seekers want and need. We provide unique market insights and connect you with our team of recruitment specialists who partner with you to develop a smooth and efficient recruitment process as well as build a strong employer brand that resonates with job seekers. 

Schedule a meeting with us to discuss your hiring needs and discover how we can help you attract top talent. 

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