Employer optimism rises | The star

PETALING JAYA: Most employers in Malaysia expect business activity levels to increase over the next 12 months, based on findings from the Hays Asia Salary Guide 2022.

Hays, a specialist staffing firm, noted that 74% of employers across the country believe business activity will increase in 2022, which is the highest in the region.

He said fewer hiring freezes were also reported for the year, with 75% of employers saying no freezes were expected.

Last year, nearly half of employers surveyed said they had initiated a hiring freeze at their organizations.

Now in its 15th edition, the guide compiles and presents salary and industry overviews based on real data and a survey of skilled professionals in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. More than 9,500 responses were collected between October and November 2021.

Tom Osborne, Managing Director of Hays Malaysia, said in a statement: “The pandemic has severely affected business activity in various sectors over the past two years.

“Fortunately, the Malaysian economy is now on the road to recovery and despite the ongoing challenges, we are seeing growing optimism among employers.”

Thus, half of the employers surveyed plan to increase their permanent workforce in the next 12 months and are implementing tactics to attract candidates, such as increasing salaries.

Along with China, employers in Malaysia are planning bigger wage increases, on average between 3% and 6%. Average increases for all other regions are expected to peak at 3%.

Osborne added: “While job seekers prioritize compensation after two years of cut wages, employers should be aware that there are other factors that would come into play.

“Seeking new challenges, better health insurance and allowance, and career progression were all major motivators for Malaysians looking to change jobs.”

For job seekers, he stressed the importance of skills development.

“Employer responses tell us that they place a high value on technical, analytical and managerial skills, as well as soft skills such as communication skills, problem solving and teamwork. Candidates who focus on developing such skills will definitely see an advantage in securing a position,” Osborne noted.