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1 in 2 tech talent in Malaysia said that they turned down a job offer because of a mismatch between the advertised job scope and the actual job requirements.

Commissioned by Randstad Malaysia and independently conducted by YouGov, the 2021 Tech Talent Expectation Survey aims to highlight the nation’s tech candidates’ perceptions of current recruitment practices and their views on the skills shortage in the technology sector.

tech workers are rejecting job offers because of poor candidate experiences

The latest talent expectations survey highlighted that 1 in 2 tech talent respondents turned down a job during the interview process because of a mismatch between the job ad and the actual job scope for technology professionals. While 35% of respondents say it is because they did not have a positive impression of the hiring manager.

Companies need to train hiring managers to be better at communicating the job scope and organisational culture during interviews and on job advertisements if they want to keep candidates interested in the role. Besides knowing how to ask the right interview questions to evaluate candidates’ skills and personality traits, sharing firsthand information about the business will help candidates feel valued and engaged.

The interview process is a crucial time for candidates to understand if their personalities, interests and skills are a good fit for the company and whether the employer can support them in realising their career aspirations. Being able to better connect with candidates can also help employers stand out in an increasingly competitive hiring landscape. Hence, it is important for employers to address and close the disconnect between interviewers and candidates.

55% of ICT professionals prefer just 1 or 2 rounds of interviews

The survey revealed that Malaysian talent working in information communications and technology (ICT) roles are more likely to accept job interview requests as compared to their regional peers. About 1 in 4 respondents said that they accept interviews 50% to 74% of the time, compared to respondents in Hong Kong SAR (20%) and Singapore (16%).

However, 55% of tech talent say that they prefer to attend only one or two rounds of interviews, despite there being an industry average of three rounds of interviews.

38% of survey respondents aged 45 to 54 reported that they would not accept a job offer during the interview process if there were “too many rounds of interviews and / or assessment tests” or “the organisation takes too long to schedule the first interview”.

candidate expectations in hiring process
candidate expectations in hiring process

There is a greater need for employers to revise their recruitment procedures so they don’t deter candidates with prolonged interview processes. Companies can host all their interviews with the shortlisted candidates in the same week as a way to condense their interview process to better meet candidate expectations. By shortening the interview timeline, employers can help candidates feel reassured and secure talent faster.

However, there is a need to educate IT job applicants about the average industry practices and manage their expectations on the number of interviews they are required to go through right from the beginning.

20% of ICT professionals want to work in cybersecurity jobs if given the chance to restart their career

Regarding skills gaps in the ICT sector in Malaysia, 47% of respondents ranked “cybersecurity” as the top specialisation lacking in tech talent - followed by “AI, automation and robotics” (41%) and “DevOps” (41%).

1 in 5 ICT respondents picked “cybersecurity” as their top choice if they were given a choice to restart their career, whereas another 16% of respondents picked “AI, automation and robotics”.

tech talent reason for career switch
tech talent reason for career switch

While cybersecurity is an evergreen, well-established vertical that offers a promising career outlook, AI, automation and robotics may appeal to candidates. As emerging technologies are being used in more applications than ever before, these specialisations create more job growth opportunities for technology professionals that are not only exciting but increasingly future-proof.

To stay competitive in an active candidate market, tech professionals have to build the necessary skills and capabilities. As cybersecurity and AI deals with analytics and big data, tech employees need to ensure that they have sufficient programming, big data development and management skills to fulfil the tasks and responsibilities of their role, as well as drive new innovation opportunities for the organisation.

In DevOps, where there is high demand but little desire amongst ICT talent to enter the field. Employers need to highlight project scopes and give ICT professionals a clear idea of their career progression timelines in order to attract and retain qualified candidates.

45% of ICT professionals want to work at Asian global enterprises

45% of respondents picked Asian global enterprises as their top choice of company to work for, whereas only 33% picked local companies.

This is an opportunity for local companies to step up on developing more robust employer branding strategies to establish themselves in an increasingly competitive tech hiring landscape.

Besides offering candidates salary increments and welfare benefits, employers should also actively promote comprehensive upskilling opportunities. With the constant change in the industry, HR leaders should offer employees the chance to try out innovative new tools and technologies in their job advertisements and employer branding efforts.

technology talent expectations
technology talent expectations

download the tech talent expectations survey for more data

The Tech Talent Expectations Survey was conducted in September 2021 across 3 markets in Asia Pacific with 212 respondents working in IT roles in Malaysia.

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