Randstad Malaysia 2021 Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot
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In the current post-COVID business climate, change and innovation are the only constant. To find new pockets of growth and thrive in 2021, it is imperative for companies to stay agile.
In line with that, Randstad Malaysia released its 2021 Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot Report that delved into the economic climate and recruitment landscape for the year ahead.
The market outlook report provided labour market intelligence, talent analysis and salary snapshots that employers in three key sectors – technology, manufacturing, and construction – can anticipate in 2021.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director for Randstad Malaysia and Singapore said: “Organisational technology readiness was a critical focus in 2020, and it will continue to be for the years to come. Companies’ increasing focus on digital transformation will drive talent demand and shape the local workforce in 2021. There will be demand for highly specialised talent, particularly in areas such as Internet of Things, software development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics, project migration and change management.”
She added that COVID-19 will continue to impact business and consumer performance, and the country’s growth will depend on both the recovery of global powerhouses and domestic market performance.
“With change and innovation as a constant, companies must stay agile and find new pockets of growth in 2021,” Dass added.
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Urgent and unprecedented demand for technology talent: Randstad Malaysia
The demand for technology has in turn created an urgent and unprecedented demand for tech talent, and there is a rising requirement for digital skills in every function across an organisation, such as (and not limited to) accounting & finance, human resources, sales & marketing, research & development (R&D) as well as risk & compliance, according to Randstad Malaysia.
The global recruitment agency expects technology-empowered industries such as e-commerce, fintech, logistics & supply chain, manufacturing, R&D, as well as medtech & biotech, will continue to see solid growth in 2021.
In the 2021 edition of its Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot, it said the focus on technology advancements and talent development has created more job opportunities for the local workforce.
Randstad Malaysia and Singapore managing director Jaya Dass said organisational technology readiness was a critical focus in 2020, and it will continue to be for the years to come.
“Companies’ increasing focus on digital transformation will drive talent demand and shape the local workforce in 2021. There will be demand for highly specialised talent, particularly in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), software development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, robotics, project migration and change management.”
She added that Covid-19 will continue to impact business and consumer confidence, and Malaysia’s growth will depend on both the recovery of global powerhouses and domestic market performance.
“With change and innovation as a constant, companies must stay agile and find new pockets of growth in 2021. As a global talent recruitment agency with a strong local market focus, it is important for us to start putting people to work so that we can achieve recovery and growth together.”
In the technology industry, Randstad Malaysia predicts four potential areas of technology growth in 2021 –
- Software-as-a-Service conferencing solutions
Aligned with its projections on market growth, it said experienced talent in cybersecurity, app development, DevOps and digital marketing would be highly sought-after in 2021.
In the manufacturing industry, it anticipates hiring activities will remain stable in 2021, as the sector is expected to be resilient despite the pandemic. In the future, most jobs in manufacturing will likely have a digital element, so it is important for candidates to be equipped with strong digital skills so that they can do their work more effectively and efficiently.
In the construction industry, Randstad Malaysia said, hot jobs are in contract management, tender management, quality assessment and control as well as project management.
Randstad Malaysia pointed out that these roles have a crucial part in ensuring cost efficiency and profitability throughout the project lifecycle. Common technical skills that employers look for include BIM, IBS, Quality Assessment System in Construction and the Construction Quality Assessment System. Other in-demand soft skills would include stakeholder management, time management and vendor negotiation.
Randstad Malaysia expects digital technology-empowered industries such as e-commerce, fintech, logistics & supply chain, manufacturing, R&D, as well as medtech & biotech to continue to see solid growth in 2021.
3 key trends in Malaysia’s technology sector for 2021
Within the technology sector, companies are preparing for two main types of hiring scenarios:
Companies that still have unused 2020 HR budgets will want to secure good talent from the current active job seeking market in early 2021.
If the COVID-19 situation worsens, companies may freeze hiring in the first half of 2021 (or until when the situation improves).
In line with this, the three key trends in this sector involve more opportunities for local talent, an evolving set of in-demand skills, and a more conservative approach towards switching jobs.
More job opportunities for local talent
Lockdowns, global demand for tech talent, and new labour policies have made it more challenging for companies to offshore and hire expats.
The above factors, combined with the launch of MYFutureJobs by the Malaysian government, has resulted in more job opportunities for local talent.
While this is good news to job seekers, it may create new workforce management issues for tech companies.
The success of the technology sector depends heavily on having a mix of local and foreign talent to facilitate knowledge transfer and build processes that take into account global knowledge and local nuances. Hence, these changes mean companies will need to find alternative solutions to overcome this workforce challenge.
A longer-term strategy should include a robust collaboration between organisations, educational institutions and the government to map in-demand future skills and ensure that their local talent are up-to-speed with their skills development.
In-demand tech skills and jobs in 2021
Aligned with Randstad’s projections on market growth, experienced talent in cybersecurity, app development, DevOps and digital marketing would be highly sought after in 2021.
At the same time, many employers are looking for candidates who have strong communication skills (across all tech roles). It is an increasing requirement for technologists to effectively communicate their progress, needs and outcomes with the business, senior management and investors. More often than not, they will also have to explain advanced technology in layman terms to help others better understand the progress and get organisational-wide buy-in for a new tech initiative.
Candidates’ appetite for changing jobs
Given the current climate, candidates are expected to be more conservative when it comes to switching employers in 2021.
The ‘pull’ factors have to be extremely compelling for the individual to consider the job. Some of the most common factors that candidates currently seek are corporate financial performance, workforce changes in the past few months as well as the organisation’s longterm investment plans in Malaysia.
At the same time, passive candidates will be harder to attract, and will only consider switching employers if the new role offers them exposure to new technology or the opportunity to do new things in their jobs. They will likely be looking for companies that can offer them the platform to develop their skills and experience in new technologies, such as AI, online payment gateways and fintech, rather than just a highly-attractive salary package.
Due to the surge in talent demand, app developers and cybersecurity experts can expect up to a 20% increment when switching employers in 2021.
3 highest paid roles in the technology sector (based on basic monthly salary):
CTO / head of technology (enterprise) with 12 to 20 years of experience
- Low: RM50,000
- Mid: RM60,000
- High: RM80,000
CTO / head of technology (start-up, SME) with 10 to 15 years of experience
- Low: RM20,000
- Mid: RM28,000
- High: RM35,000
Security architect with five to 10 years of experience
- Low: RM18,000
- Mid: RM22,000
- High: RM26,000